When unique skill sets are required in a Case Breakers investigation, dedicated specialists can be deployed to provide auxiliary services. These on-call volunteers are versed in gathering human intelligence (HUMINT), the behavioral sciences, geospatial analysis, criminal justice, forensics, geophysics, 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.
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.
Sonja Nordstrom (Salt Lake City, UT) is unmatched, when it comes to her success with dogs and training credentials achieved during the last 25 years. In 2014, she retired from the FBI after almost two decades as a K9 Special Agent – then she opened Sonja’s Dog Training. She has since attained local and national level search-dog certifications and completed 100’s of field missions with her K9s for the FBI and others. For about 10 years, Sonja has deployed with her dogs throughout California, the Western United States, Mexico, the Middle East, and to the Pentagon after 9/11. She recently was stationed in Europe on missions with History Flight, searching for the remains of MIA soldiers from WWII. The CB will enlist her help in finding the missing, including those in the Zodiac case.
Jack Schafer (Macomb, IL) began his career as an FBI Profiler assigned to its National Security Behavioral Analysis Program. After departing Bureau, the Ph.D. became a prolific book/article writer, focused on psychopathology of hate, ethics in law enforcement, and detecting deception. He’s also an FBI Academy adjunct trainer and professor at Western Illinois University in 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.
Katie Yeloushan (Charlotte, NC) is the Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) coordinator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The criminal justice graduate also provides training and disaster planning courses for the staff at the combined city-county Emergency Operations Center. Katie has agreed to share her unique technological skills and law enforcement search capabilities with The Case Breakers.