Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt For Justice; Case of Dakota James
October 30, 2019
Hosted by Jeff Stein
Larry Forletta's investigative work on one of Pittsburgh's most haunting unsolved murder mysteries takes the spotlight on; Is There Really Truth & Justice for All? Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt For Justice. The docuseries aired on January 19th on the Oxygen Channel and featured the case of Duquesne University student Dakota James. James was last seen in Downtown Pittsburgh after partying with friends on the night of January 25, 2017. Security footage showed him walking through Katz Plaza and Scott Place before heading toward Fort Duquesne Boulevard and disappearing without a trace. On March 6, his lifeless body was found in the Ohio River. Medical examiners ruled James may have accidentally drowned, and local authorities believed he may have been drunk and killed himself, perhaps accidentally, by jumping off the bridge. After investigation however, an overwhelming amount of evidence indicated otherwise.
Is there Really Truth and Justice for All?
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How often is an innocent person found guilty of a crime they did not commit? If you had asked me this question in 2005, I would have said, not many, only because I was uneducated. Now after specializing as a Criminal Defense Investigator for the past decade my response is a complete 360. Not because the accused are my clients, but because I am now more educated and have firsthand knowledge and experience with freeing the innocent after being wrongly accused.
There are many wrongful arrests and convictions in the United States. How can we fix this? Understanding that our current judicial system is not “truth and Justice for All” and that everyone needs to be aware, this widespread problem in our country does not discriminate against race, religion, sex, nationality. Anyone can become a victim to the judicial system and incompetent investigations by law enforcement.
Jeffrey Stein has more than thirty years’ experience in the investigative and security profession. Stein has conducted over two thousand internal and external interviews over the course of his career in the private sector. He is a licensed professional investigator in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from West Chester University.
Stein’s expertise, while specializing in criminal defense and homicide investigations, includes personal injury, inadequate security, corporate fraud, workplace violence, security policies and procedures and civil investigations. In 2018 he was inducted into the Vidocq Society.
Stein is a former New Jersey 911 operator as well as a New Jersey State Certified Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. Stein has been interviewed and used as a subject matter expert by FoxNews.com and is a contributing author for “Advanced Private Investigation,” A Manual of Advanced Investigative Skills for the Private Investigator.
Stein is an active member of IntelleNet, a prestigious international network of investigators, and is their Assistant Executive Director and also the Educational Training Director for the Intellenet Continuous Education Academy. He is also the current Chairman of the Pennsylvania Association of Licensed Investigators.