The International Homicide Investigators Association was founded during a 1988 ViCap (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) international homicide symposium, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Quantico, Virginia. This symposium brought together an elite group of professionals, from around the world, representing all death investigation disciplines. The IHIA is the world’s largest and fastest growing organization of homicide and death investigation professionals. The non-profit organization represents the largest network of homicide professionals and practitioners ever assembled. The IHIA has representatives in every U.S. state and nations on six continents. The membership includes highly respected death and homicide investigators, criminal behaviorists, forensic scientists, crime scene technicians, crime and intelligence analysts, prosecutors, and others, many of whom are considered among the foremost experts in their respective fields and disciplines.
The diversity of IHIA’s membership greatly enhances the organization’s capability to successfully address the myriad of demanding issues facing homicide and death investigators in today’s world. The IHIA’s primary mission is to support law enforcement death investigation professionals through the provision of leadership, training, networking, resources and expertise necessary to solve cases. Successful death investigations frequently require inter-agency and inter-disciplinary cooperation and partnerships. The IHIA’s multi-disciplinary membership promotes inter-disciplinary and inter-agency coordination, cooperation, and working partnerships. This basic tenet forms a foundation for conducting sound, successful and professional homicide and death investigations. The core values of IHIA are professionalism, responsibility, cooperation, teamwork, integrity, hard work, and diligence – all of which are necessary to accomplish successful investigations.
By bringing all disciplines together under one umbrella organization, the IHIA nurtures inter-agency cooperation, professional interactions, and increased communication relative to: Homicide/Death Case Management Latest Advancements in Forensic Technology and Laboratory Sciences Trends in Criminal Behavior and Methodology Case Comparisons to Determine Similarity in Criminal Activity Effective Handling of Major Cases/ Critical Incidents Involving Child Abduction, Single Homicides, Serial Murder, Mass Murder, Missing and Unidentified Dead, Mass Casualties, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Other Significant Investigations Investigative and Prosecutorial Strategy Obtaining Successful Case Closures and Trial Convictions To accomplish these goals, the IHIA conducts annual symposiums and regional training sessions. Attendees are provided with the latest advanced training in all disciplines by renowned experts. These sessions offer opportunities for IHIA members to present cases, exchange information, and share personal experiences. Through such networking members help one another solve homicides and other complex investigations.
Each year, the IHIA recognizes law enforcement professionals who have displayed exceptional innovation and perseverance in conducting homicide investigations, evidence collection, evidence examination, advances in forensic science and technology, and successful homicide case prosecutions. Career achievements are also considered for recognition. Nominees for awards can be submitted to the IHIA’s Executive Board. Those selected for the IHIA Award for Excellence are honored at the annual training symposiums. Award nominees need not be IHIA members.
Symposiams have been held regularly since the 1988 Quantico conference, in such locations such as Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Reno, Houston, Las Vegas, Tampa, New Orleans, Washington DC, San Francisco, The Netherlands, and in the United Kingdom. Members of the IHIA have been instrumental in starting state homicide investigator associations in Texas, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana.
Since its inception, the IHIA has assisted law enforcement in all aspects of homicide investigations and other violent criminal offenses. With this in mind the IHIA entered into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice and successfully managed two critical federal grant projects. One project involved the creation of a national registry of missing persons and unidentified dead throughout the United States. This registry would be designed to assist law enforcement in the investigation of missing persons, abducted victims, runaways, and fugitives. It would provide a means for victim families to find missing loved ones and serve as a nationwide central clearinghouse for law enforcement agencies and medical examiners. The second project focused on the formation of a comprehensive standardized training program for conducting homicide investigations.