Thomas K. Hargrove, Founder and Chairman
Thomas K. Hargrove is a retired Washington, D.C., -based investigative journalist and former White House correspondent. He founded the nonprofit Murder Accountability Project in 2015 to track unsolved homicides nationwide. While working as a national correspondent for the Scripps Howard News Service, Hargrove developed an algorithm that uses FBI homicide data to identify clusters of murders with an elevated probability of containing serial killings. Authorities in Youngstown, Ohio, and Gary, Indiana, opened new homicide investigations in 2010 as a result of Hargrove’s findings. The algorithm’s identification of 15 unsolved strangulations in Gary was corroborated in 2014 with the arrest of Darren Deon Vann, who confessed to killing women for decades and then took police to abandoned properties in Gary where the bodies of six previously unknown strangulation victims were recovered. Working with fellow board member Prof. David J. Icove of the University of Tennessee, Hargrove developed another algorithm that can review the National Fire Incident Reporting System to identify undetected or unreported arsons. Working with Prof. Guido H. Stempel III of Ohio University, Hargrove co-founded the Scripps Survey Research Center and co-edited a two-volume encyclopedia The 21st Century Voter: Who Votes, How They Vote and Why They Vote published by ABC-CLIO in late 2015. Hargrove is available to answer questions from police officers or the press and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 571-606-5999.
Eric Witzig, Vice Chairman
Eric Witzig is a retired homicide investigator for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department and for the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP). He graduated from The American University after majoring in political science and joined the District of Columbia’s police on June 16, 1969. He was appointed to the Homicide Branch, Criminal Investigation Unit in 1979. Among his cases were the crash of Air Florida’s Flight 90 and the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. He was trained in criminal personality profiling by FBI profiler John Douglas in 1985. After retiring from D.C. police in 1989, he joined the FBI’s Training Division as a crime analyst in 1990. He became a major case specialist in 1992 and a member of ViCAP’s Critical Incident Response Group in 1995. Witzig became a supervisory intelligence analyst for the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division in 2004. He retired from the FBI in 2012. He received a master of science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University with a dissertation titled “Observations on the Serial Killer Phenomenon.”
Holly Lang, Treasurer
Holly Lang is a veteran nonprofit administrator and a former crime reporter. Based in New York City, Lang focuses on public policy interventions and community-based interventions for the issues facing low-income populations. She has served as director of community benefits and external affairs for Piedmont Healthcare. She is a chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Charitable Care Network and a board member of the Health Leadership Council of the United Way of Greater Atlanta. Her journalism credits include police reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald, reporter and editor for the Associated Press, producer for WXIA-TV, and was the founding editor of Pine Magazine. She also has served as Health Access Program Director and Hospital Accountability Project Director for Georgia Watch. As a freelance writer, Lang authored four commissioned books and served as the primary researcher for three other published books.
Enzo Yaksic, Secretary
After ten years of researching serial homicide, Enzo Yaksic founded the Serial Homicide Expertise and Information Sharing Collaborative in 2010 to synchronize and standardize serial homicide data collection efforts. A Northeastern University graduate and former FBI Academy research intern, Yaksic was the first researcher to assert that African American serial killers are as prominent as their Caucasian counterparts and to offer possible explanations for the steep decline in serial killings since 1990, a notion in direct contrast to popular belief. Yaksic partnered with Mike Aamodt of Radford University to help build and populate the first national serial homicide offender database. Widely recognized as the nation’s most complete dataset on multiple-victim killers, his work has been incorporated into major textbooks about serial killers. He contributed to the investigation into a serial killer suspect by providing a behavioral analysis of Felix Vail. Yaksic co-founded the Atypical Homicide Research Group, an active network of more than 100 academic researchers, law enforcement professionals and mental health practitioners that allows members to communicate over a private and secure email listserv in an effort to come to a greater understanding of atypical homicide.
David J. Icove, Board of Directors
David J. Icove is the UL Professor of Practice at the University of Tennessee, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Knoxville, Tennessee, where he oversees the Graduate Certificate Program in Fire Protection Engineering. He is a former federal law enforcement agent, retiring in 2005 from the United States Tennessee Valley Authority Police Department as Assistant Chief of their Criminal Investigation Division. From 1984 to 1993, he served in the FBI as a Criminal Profiler and the first supervisor of their Arson and Bombing Investigative Services Subunit, where he authored the FBI’s profile for the UNABOM case. He is the co-author of several expert treatises in the field of fire investigation, including Kirk’s Fire Investigation, which is one of the primary textbooks for arson investigators. An expert witness in federal, state, and local courts, he has testified three times before U.S. Congressional Committees developing legislative initiatives on violent crime. Dr. Icove is a Fellow in the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, and a Registered Professional Engineer.
Bruce E. Harry, Board of Directors
Bruce E. Harry, MD, is one of the nation’s leading forensic psychiatrists. Based in Columbia, Mo., Dr. Harry has evaluated mentally disordered offenders for the judicial and correctional systems at both the State and Federal levels. He teaches students of psychiatry and the law at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has served as Clinical Director of Fulton State Hospital, and as the Medical Director of the Biggs Forensic Center, Missouri’s only maximum-security hospital for the psychiatric treatment of violent mentally ill men and women. He also has consulted with the Missouri State Board of Probation and Parole. He has spoken at the FBI’s Training Academy in Quantico, Va., and has collaborated with some members of the Bureau’s Behavioral Sciences Unit for purposes of research, education, and training about criminal investigative analysis. His professional interests lie specifically in sexual and multiple homicides, especially the latter of those in healthcare settings. Dr. Harry is a member of the Behavioral Sciences Review Subcommittee of the American Investigation Society of Cold Cases, and an Affiliate Fellow of the International Criminal Investigative Analysis Fellowship. Among his published works are “Criminals’ Explanations of Their Criminal Behavior” for the Journal of Forensic Sciences and “Victim Age as a Basis for Profiling Sex Offenders” for the journal Federal Probation. He has recently presented his findings about “Unidentified Human Remains: Recent Developments” at the FBI Academy and “Serial Killers in Health Care” at the International Homicide Investigators’ Association.
Michael Arntfield, Board of Directors
Dr. Michael Arntfield is a criminologist, author, and award-winning professor at Western University in Canada as well as a Fulbright Scholar and previous visiting chairman at Vanderbilt University in Nashville where he specialized in victimology and American literature. Arntfield spent more than 15 years as a police officer and detective in London, Ontario. He is now the founder and director of the Western University Cold Case Society and both an academic and investigative advisor with the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases. The author of over two-dozen peer-reviewed articles and scholarly anthology papers, his books include: Introduction to Forensic Writing, a manual for criminal investigators when writing search warrants and wiretap affidavits; Murder City, a social history of serial homicide in Canada; The Forensic Gothic, a survey of key texts in Victorian horror and mystery; and Practical Criminology, a forthcoming textbook that advocates a major reform in the applied scholarship of crime. He is also the series editor with the criminal humanities collection published by Peter Lang Academic in New York, and is a regular commentator on crime statistics and cold cases for international media. He is also affiliate faculty with the University of Toronto’s Centre for Research in Forensic Semiotics, the criminal psychology department at Tibiscus University in Romania with a focus on standardizing crime analysis training in Eastern Europe, and serves as an investigative consultant to business, industry, and media in both the United States and Canada.
Isaac Wolf, Board of Directors
Isaac Wolf, Board of Directors
Isaac Wolf is an analyst at Select Equity Group L.P., a registered investment adviser with approximately $15 billion in assets under management. Prior to joining Select Equity in 2015, Wolf was a DC-based investigative journalist whose work at Scripps Howard News Service combined shoe-leather reporting and data analysis. Wolf’s investigation of food stamp fraud cross-compared multiple federal, state and local databases to reveal that storeowners who had repeatedly cheated the program were using shell corporations to re-enter the benefit, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Wolf’s investigation triggered a U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ban bad actors and tighten its vetting process. In another investigation, Wolf uncovered a data breach affecting up to 305,000 customers in a Federal Communications Commission program, leading the agency to issue an unprecedented fine against the vendor. Wolf received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago (with honors).
Elizabeth “Betty” Goeckel, Board of Directors
Elizabeth Goeckel is the retired chief of the Chatham Township Police Department in northern New Jersey, the first woman appointed to this position. She was born and raised in Chatham, graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Caldwell University and started her career in law enforcement in 1982 as a civilian police dispatcher with Chatham Township police. She was promoted to a patrol officer in 1985, and was assigned to work a homicide as one of her first cases. In 1988, Goeckel became the first female officer assigned to the Detective Bureau where she received state and local recognition for her work on child abuse cases. She was promoted to sergeant in 1992 and reassigned as a street patrol squad supervisor. She became New Jersey’s first sworn officer certified as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor. In 1997, she was promoted to lieutenant and served as both Patrol and Investigative Division administrator. During that time she worked two major homicides, including the nationally prominent case of Dr. Kathleen Hagen, who was judged insane when she smothered her elderly parents as they slept in 2000. Goeckel was promoted to chief of police the following year. She attended the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association training (LEEDA), became a member of the LEEDA executive board and served as board president from 2007-2008. She retired for health reasons in 2009 and moved to northern Texas, where she owns and operates a horse ranch.