2017 Annual Conference Speaker Information and Bios

Please see brief presentation details and speaker bios below.

Speakers subject to change.

Stephen D. Hart - The Role of Mental Disorder in Threat Assessment: Case Studies

Threat assessment and management involves consideration of various forms of mental disorder. This is true regardless of the nature of violence that is a concern (violence toward public figures, intimate partner violence, terrorism, sexual violence, etc.), the setting in which the threat assessment professional is working (national security, corporate, higher education, health care, etc.), and the primary legal issues at hand (criminal law, occupational health and safety law, employment law, etc.). But how should threat assessment professionals evaluate, understand, and explain the link between mental disorder and violence risk? In this presentation, Dr. Hart will identify some key principles and illustrate them using three brief case studies—one from law enforcement, one from the corporate sector, and one from higher education—in which the relevance of mental disorder was potentially of critical importance.

Detective Warren Miller & Sergeant Matthew Fyles - Aurora Theatre Shooting Case Study (Colorado, USA)

Warren Miller is a detective with the Major Crime Homicide Unit with the Aurora Police Department, Aurora Colorado.

Warren attended Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado and graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986.  He started his police career in Wichita Kansas as a patrolman with the Wichita Police Department.  After 5 years Warren returned to his home state of Colorado and joined the Aurora Police Department in 1994.  While with the Aurora Police Department Warren was selected to join the Narcotics unit.  From there he was assigned to a joint task force with the DEA.  Warren’s 5 years in Narcotics afforded him the ability to conduct major investigations while being undercover.  After promoting to the rank of Detective in 2003, Warren was assigned to the Persons/Robbery Section.   His 8 years of experience in investigations allowed him the opportunity to join the Major Crime Homicide Unit in 2006 where he is currently assigned.

On July 20, 2012 Warren served as a key investigator in the Century 16 Mass Murder Investigation.  He was initially assigned to coordinate, prioritize and facilitate interviewing the hundreds of potential eye witnesses just hours after the shooting.  Warren was then placed in charge of collecting and processing all of the evidence from inside the theaters; a task that lasted multiple weeks.

Matthew Fyles is a Sergeant and supervisor of the Major Crime Homicide Unit with the Aurora Police Department in Aurora Colorado, policing the 54th largest city in the United States.  Matthew is a graduate of the Colorado State University, where he received a BS in Zoology.

After graduation, Matthew managed a neuroscience research laboratory at the University of Southern California, participating in research into neuroplasticity.  Matthew eventually left the world of science to pursue his dream of law enforcement with his native city of Aurora.  An intrinsic ability to solve cases lead to a promotion to Detective and assignment to Property Crimes.  In short order he was selected for the Gang Intervention Unit where his natural networking abilities laid the footwork for crime gun focused investigations with the Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.  Matthew’s expertise in gangs lead to his appointment to the Homicide Unit in 2007.  He ultimately promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2011 with a 100% case clearance rate.  Matthew would take over as a supervisor for the Homicide Unit where his knowledge, skills and abilities would culminate with his role as the lead investigatory supervisor of the Century 16 Mass Murders in 2012.  

Since then he’s assisted with successfully seeing the case through charging, prosecution and conviction, while continuing in his role as supervisor of the Homicide Unit.  Matthew has presented as plenary speaker on topics including Major Case Management, Team Development & Sustainment, and Critical Incident Investigation.  Matthew credits all of his successes to his beautiful daughter who gives him purpose and to the members of the Major Crime Homicide Unit who he holds in the highest regard.

Dr. Paul Gill – Lone-actor Terror and Extremism

Based upon a unique dataset of 111 lone actors that catalogues the life span of the individual’s development, the talk contains important insights into what an analysis of their behaviours might imply for practical interventions aimed at disrupting or even preventing attacks. It adopts insights and methodologies from criminology and forensic psychology to provide a holistic analysis of the behavioural underpinnings of lone-actor terrorism. By focusing upon the behavioural aspects of each offender, this work marks a pointed departure from previous research in the field. It seeks to answer the following key questions:

  • Is there a lone-actor terrorist profile and how do they differ?
  • What behaviours did the lone-actor terrorist engage in prior to his/her attack and is there a common behavioural trajectory into lone-actor terrorism?
  • How ‘lone’ do lone-actor terrorists tend to be?
  • What role, if any, does the internet play?
  • What role, if any, does mental illness play?

Brief Biography

Dr. Paul Gill is a senior lecturer in Security and Crime Science. Previous to joining UCL, Dr. Gill was a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Pennsylvania State University. He has over 40 publications on the topic of terrorist behaviour. He has conducted research funded by the Office for Naval Research, the Department of Homeland Security, DSTL, the European Union, the National Institute of Justice, CREST and MINERVA. These projects focused upon various aspects of terrorist behavior including the IED development, creativity, terrorist network structures, and lone-actor terrorism. His doctoral research focused on the underlying individual and organizational motivations behind suicide bombing. This piece of research won the Jean Blondel Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in Political Science in Europe for 2010. He has published in leading psychology, criminology and political science journals.

Dr. Kevin S. Douglas - Major Mental Disorder and Violence Risk

The link between major mental disorder (MMD) and violence remains controversial. It is vital for threat assessment professionals who may be evaluating and managing cases amongst people with MMD to understand the specific role that mental disorder might (or might not) play with respect to their risk of violence.  This talk will address the link, arguing that although there may be a direct, causal link between mental disorder and violence for some people, there may also be indirect links (i.e., by interfering with treatment or increasing stress). For others, MMD might be unrelated to their violence. It is important to discern when MMD is directly related to a person’s violence, indirectly related, or simply unrelated.

The talk will delineate specific active aspects of MMD for threat assessment professionals to focus upon that increase the risk for violence in individuals, including, amongst other things, comorbidity with substance use; heightened negative affect associated with the MMD; specific types of symptoms (i.e., those causing fear in the person experiencing them); features of symptoms (i.e., searching for evidence that one’s delusions are true; morbid content of delusions); and tense interpersonal interactions. Moreover, MMD is a dynamic phenomenon – waxing and waning over time – and therefore it is crucial to understand the extent to which a person currently is experiencing active symptoms, and the factors that make symptoms worsen (for example, family conflict; stress; medication non-compliance).  

I will discuss how MMD influences a person’s decision making around violence (i.e., how it might increase the perceive benefits of violence, decrease the perceived costs of violence, or otherwise destabilize decision making). Finally, I will discuss contemporary approaches to violence threat assessment and management in terms of their ability to facilitate understanding of the role that MMD plays in violent behavior, its assessment, and its management. 

Dr. Michel St. Yves & Mr. Yohan Morneau - Anonymous Threats

Michel St-Yves is a forensic psychologist working with the Behavioural Analysis Unit of the Sûreté du Québec (Quebec Provincial Police). This unit is specialised in offering support in criminal investigations, both by profiling suspects and preparing police interrogations. He also teaches the psychology of investigative interviews at the École nationale de police du Québec (Quebec Police Academy) and is a lecturer at the Department of Criminology of the Université de Montréal. He is the author of several scientific articles and books, including «Investigative Interviewing : The Essentials» (2014), «The Psychology of Crisis Intervention: for Law Enforcement Officers» (2012) and «The Psychology of Investigations : The Seach for the Truth» (2007), publiés chez les Éditions Yvon Blais (Montréal).

Michel St-Yves est psychologue judiciaire au Module des sciences du comportement à la Sûreté du Québec. Il participe aux enquêtes criminelles, aussi bien pour établir le profil psychologique d’un suspect que pour préparer les interrogatoires. Il enseigne également la psychologie de l’interrogatoire à l’École nationale de police du Québec et est chargé de cours à l’École de Criminologie de l’Université de Montréal. Il est l’auteur de plusieurs articles scientifiques et livres, dont Les entrevues d’enquête : l’essentiel» (2014); «Psychologie de l’intervention policière en situation de crise» (2011) et «Psychologie de l’enquête criminelle : la recherche de la vérité» (2007), publiés chez les Éditions Yvon Blais (Montréal).

Le sergent Yohan Morneau est profileur criminel et géographique au module des sciences du comportement de la Sûreté du Québec. Il a auparavant été enquêteur au service des enquêtes sur les crimes contre la personne ainsi qu’au service de la lutte contre le terrorisme. Policier depuis 22 ans le Sgt Morneau a été récipiendaire d’un prix policier du Québec en 2016 pour sa contribution à titre de profileur criminel au service de la communauté policière québecoise.

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