Dr. Ron Martinelli is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist who is the only police expert in the country who is also a Certified Medical Investigator at the physician’s level. Dr. Martinelli is a retired San Jose (CA) Police Department detective with a background in investigations, medicine, and applied sciences including forensics, psychology & psychological profiling; physiology and human factors; violent crimes, and death scene investigations. He has been referred to in the forensics and legal community as the “expert’s expert.”
Dr. Martinelli, what was the inspiration in your life that led you to become a forensic criminologist?
I have always been interested in science. I was pre-med at the university and majored in exercise physiology. I hold a doctorate degree in forensic psychology and find that the study of human factors and how the brain-to-body messaging and performance under intense stress is a fascinating area and one of my favorite specializations.
After two decades in active law enforcement, you continue to devote your time to advanced education, forensics, police/corrections practices, and the training of law enforcement officers in and outside of the United States. What are the main differences between the US and other countries in law enforcement that stands out to you the most?
I have been a law enforcement instructor and training consultant since 1978. Since that time, I have trained over 80,000 officers, military and criminal justice professionals from over 350 agencies internationally. The training standards differ from country to country. Some are more, but most less advanced that the U.S. However, even within the U.S., standards and competency greatly vary from state to state. Government funding and support for officers is what ultimately drives or harms officer training, experience and competency.
When were you approached to be the on-set consultant for accuracy with the CSI television series?
I have and am approached by true-to-life documentaries and TV police series as a technical consultant from time to time. The CSI series are the most difficult because 75% of what you see on CSI Miami, NYC, etc. is not reality, yet the public thinks that’s how we solve crimes. Actually, actual CSI forensic investigations are far more complex but more interesting than what is portrayed on TV. However, we still cannot solve who-done-it murders in 38 minutes plus commercials. That’s why I provide very accurate information on forensic investigations and techniques in my Wade Justus fiction mystery thriller series so that my readers learn about how real forensic investigations are conducted.
Being a man of science, what are your favorite literary journals?
I prefer forensic texts to journals. I favor forensic death investigations because that’s my chief area of expertise. I read books written by internationally renowned experts like Dr. Vincent DiMaio and others I have worked with in the past. The Journal of Suicide from the American Psychological Association is also very good.
What is one thing people would be the most surprised to know about you?
Two things. First, I am an Amazon best-selling author of a very popular mystery thriller series, “Wade Justus Texas Ranger.” Second, my wife Linda and I are livestock contractors and compete with bucking bulls in the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) circuit and own the 2016 World Champion bucking bull “Ringo Kid.”
Where can people learn more about you?