Dallas S. Drake, Principal Researcher

Dallas S. Drake is a criminologist, author and educator. He is the co-founder of the Center for Homicide Research and serves as Principal Researcher. Drake frequently trains law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, criminologists, and crime victim advocates across the country. He also lectures at colleges and universities.

Drake supervises a team of nearly 100 undergraduate, graduate, and law student researchers who conduct original research and undertake analysis on the issue of homicide. Drake offers services and resources, and provide training on issues related to homicide, violence and improving the criminal justice system.

Drake is an active member and secretary of the Homicide Research Working Group (HRWG), an international academy of homicide researchers, where he has served on program chair and on the membership committee. Drake is also a member of the International Homicide Investigators Association (IHIA), the American Society of Criminology (ASC), the World Society of Victimology (WSV), the Midwest Sociological Society (MSS), and the Sociologists of Minnesota (SOM).

During the course of his research, Drake has performed case reviews on active and cold-case homicides and other death cases in more than two dozen states, several major U.S. cities, and three foreign countries for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and occasionally for the friends and families of homicide victims.

Drake’s training has included: determining cause of death, child abuse homicide, death scene investigation, crime scene investigation, bloodstain pattern interpretation, identifying and protecting crime scenes, arson investigation, homicide involving burned, buried and unidentified remains, bomb threat and response, personal threat assessment, personal and group-threat response, and counter-terrorism. Drake’s training has included death and crime scene investigation provided by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, as well as national and international crime experts.

Drake graduated magna cum laude in 2005 with a B.S. degree in Sociology: Law, Crime and Deviance from the University of Minnesota. Drake was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Golden Key Honor Society. Drake spent 22 years as a career firefighter where he had occasion to be on the scene of over 50 deaths, including homicides.

In 2011, Drake was the recipient of the Brian Coyle Leadership Award by the Human Rights Campaign. In 2013 Drake received the Carolyn Rebecca Block Award from the international Homicide Research Working Group for outstanding performance by a research practice.

Jeff Mathwig, Research Manager

img_0301Jeffrey Mathwig began at the Center in June 2016. He began work on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe’s research project focusing on homicide and its relationship to food scarcity and hunger. He specializes in crime-mapping technology using ESRI-Arc Map, and QGIS software.

Mathwig’s education includes a bachelor of science degree in both geography and geographic information science (GIS) from Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU). While attending MSU, Mathwig was highly involved in various academic affairs. He served as president of the Regional and National Geographic Explorers, was a member of the gamma theta upsilon international geographic honors society, and was winner of the first annual Mankato student film festival student choice award. During the 2016 election, Mathwig was also active with the non-partisan organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

Mathwig’s recent work includes groundbreaking research on the effect of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting on LGBT+ concealed carry rates. This research is available under the research tab in publications. Mathwig’s research interests include police shootings, gun violence prevention, and permit to carry laws. He has attended numerous trainings on homicide investigation and firearm homicide prevention. He is a member of the American Society of Criminology, the American Association of Geographers, and the Homicide Research Working Group.

Michael A. Arntfield, PhD, Associate-Researcher

Michael Arntfield is a professor at University of Western Ontario, Canada. Mike transitioned from police detective work into academia. In 2011 he formed the Western Cold Case Society, is a member of the A-typical Homicide Group, and is the co-author of over a dozen books. Arntfield currently holds a Canadian federal research grant to study the sociolinguistic underpinnings of cyberbullying, trolling, and other forms of cyberdeviance and electronic harassment. Having collected over 40,000 samples of cyberbullying text from news message board and social media sites and analyzing their contents, Arntfield has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and research papers appearing in textbooks in which he argues that cyberdeviance in many cases has a distinct sexual and fantasy-based component. He argues that cyberbullying and acts of trolling should therefore be understood as being more akin to a paraphilia than traditional physical bullying.

Melissa A. Matuszak, PhD, Associate-Researcher

Dr. Melissa Matuszak is an Assistant Professor in the Administration of Justice program at Riverside City College (Riverside, California). She teaches criminal justice courses including criminal and advanced criminal investigation and is supervisor of the criminalistics learning laboratory on campus. Dr. Matuszak holds a BS in criminal justice, an MA in forensic psychology, and a PhD in psychology, as well as a certificate in human performance. Melissa also has received specializations in homeland security and cybersecurity and is currently pursuing a specialization in data science through Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Matuszak is a diplomat with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, is a certified criminal investigator with the American College of Forensic Examiners, and holds multiple certifications relating to forensic investigation, firearms specializations, and crisis intervention.

Dr. Matuzak’s prior professional experience includes serving as a Forensic Investigator for a large urban agency and as a Crisis Counselor, performing suicide and homicide assessments. Within the crisis intervention field, Dr. Matuszak is a certified field traumatologist through the Traumatology Institute and is certified in crisis intervention through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.

Dr. Matuszak’s primary research focus is within human factors performance in high velocity environments, forensic and medicolegal death investigations and staged homicide crime scenes. She is a member of the Society for Police & Criminal Psychology and the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.  Dr. Matuszak recently completed a white paper on hybristophilia for the Center for Homicide Research, and is currently authoring a textbook on criminal and specialized investigations.