When unique skill sets are required in a Case Breakers investigation, dedicated specialists can be deployed. These on-call volunteers are versed in human intelligence (HUMINT), the behavioral sciences, geospatial analysis, criminal justice, underwater CSI, forensics, geophysics, ballistics, archival retrieval and crime-link analysis.
Priya Banerjee, MD (Barrington, RI), is a Forensic Pathologist with a wide variety of case types involving all manners of death. In her 12-year career, she has performed over 2700 autopsies including more than 150 homicides, and has been deposed/testified over 40 times. She was one of CB forensic leader Tom Mauriello’s brightest students at the Uni of Maryland, with training/residency at Uni of PA and Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a Pathology Fellow at Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, an instructor at two colleges, and is a member on Rhode Island’s Cold Case Task Force.
Jennifer Bucholtz (Peyton, CO) is a former Army Counterintel Agent who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She now holds Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences and has taught various college courses in those fields. Jennifer is also a published author specializing in research on Traumatic Brain Injuries and other military-related current events, as well as forensic case studies.
Former FBI Agent Bobby Chacon (Palm Springs, CA), a renowned member for 27 years, first worked cases involving the Mafia’s Lucchese Family and Jamaican Posses in NYC. Then in conjunction with the FBI Lab, the life-long scuba diver created the agency’s Underwater Forensic Program (UFP), with 4 regional “evidence dive teams” versed in CSI. After 3 years of UFP duty overseas, Chacon went to Los Angeles as a Senior Dive Team Leader. Since his 2014 retirement, he has become a sought-after trainer and specialist in underwater evidentiary recovery.
Kelly Elkins (Towson, MD) is a forensic biologist/DNA expert who holds Bachelors degrees in Biology and Chemistry, along with Masters and PhD degrees in Chemistry. She is a chemistry professor, Kollmann’s team partner at Towson University, and a founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Forensic Science Education. Elkins has also consulted on paternity and cold cases and interpreted DNA test results for families and lawyers. The professor has taught forensic biology and chemistry at four colleges and universities since 2006, and is an author of 35 journal research articles and 3 books, including the long-awaited Next Generation Sequencing in Forensic Science: A Primer.
Erik Kleinsmith (Chantilly, VA) is a former Army Officer, Intelligence & Security Expert, and Vice-Chair of The Case Breakers. He also provided critical link/network analysis during the “D.B. Cooper” world hunt (2011-2018), organizing 40 years of evidence, maps and materials in the team’s 106-page case report. In addition, Erik was a key member of the Army “Able Danger” program that secretly tracked Al-Qaeda before 9/11. He’s authored many articles on intelligence, along with the 2020 investigative bible, Intelligence Operations: Understanding Data, Tools, People & Processes.
Dana Kollmann (Towson, MD) is an anthropologist/forensic archaeologist with a Masters degree and PhD in Anthropology, along with a Master of Forensic Science degree. She has 11 years of active CSI experience and another two years in a forensic photographic lab for county police agencies in MD and VA. Despite handling countless crime scenes, some of her most meaningful work has been on behalf of History Flight, a nonprofit which is dedicated to locating and repatriating the remains of missing WWII service members in Europe and the Pacific. She is also a member of the National Disaster Medical System’s Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team that is deployed in cases involving mass fatalities. In this capacity, she worked in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and most recently in the New York Medical Examiner’s Office in response to the deaths associated with Covid.
Tom Mauriello (Laurel, MD) worked for 30 years at the DOD in many capacities, such as a Police Officer, Special Agent, Senior Polygraph Examiner and Police Chief. He now teaches criminal investigation/forensic sciences courses while managing the Crime Laboratory for the University of Maryland. Tom holds a Master of Forensic Sciences degree from GWU, D.C., is an author, and was ranked as one of the top 15 CSI experts in the USA. He recently called on those talents to create the first check-list AP for crime scene investigations.
Jack Schafer (Macomb, IL) began his career as an FBI Profiler assigned to its National Security Behavioral Analysis Program. After departing the Bureau, the Ph.D. became a prolific book and article writer, focused on the psychopathology of hate, ethics in law enforcement, and detecting deception. He is also an FBI Academy adjunct trainer and a professor at Western Illinois University in the Law Enforcement & Justice Administration (LEJA) Department.
Shannon Van Zant (San Andreas, CA) was the forensic archivist who dug up the faded court records, article clippings and photos of D.B. Cooper’s off-the-web past. Now a decade later, the college history teacher and mother is a leading national expert on paper trails involving property deeds, business ownerships, family trees and cyber-searches for persons of interest.