Product Review – Robert O’Block Blog

Posted in Forensics on August 17th, 2013

The following product review was first published in the Forensic Examiner, fall 2012, published by Robert O’Block.

EchoThermTM  Vibration Free Bench Top Chilling Incubators

Carlsbad, CA….Torrey Pines Scientific announces the EchoTherm™ Vibration Free Bench Top Chilling Incubators with a range of 4.0°C to 70.0°C. These units are ideal for Protein Crystallography and other life science laboratory uses. 

Both incubators are Peltier-based for heating and chilling.  As such, they have no compressors or CFCs and are vibration-free, making them ideal for doing protein crystallizations. Other applications include incubating marine samples below room temperature, enzyme reactions and deactivations, hybridizations, ligations, storing oocytes, and general lab incubations.

   There are four models. Two are fully programmable and two are simple digital controls. Chamber sizes are 27.5 liter and 55.0 liter. They feature PID temperature control, digital display and accuracy to 0.1°C and RS232 I/O port for remote control and data collection.

   In addition, there is a digital timer in hours, minutes and seconds with user settable Auto-Off, Temperature ramping on programmable models, and audible alarms. 

   The 27.5 liter units have chamber sizes of 12” high by 10” deep by 14” wide and come with two stainless steel racks with room for two additional racks. The 55.0 liter units have chambers of 24” high by 10” deep x 14” wide and come with four stainless steel racks with room for two additional racks.

   The units are shipped with universal power supplies that take AC line inputs from 100VAC to 265VAC, 50/60 Hz and convert that to 12 volts DC for the unit, AC line cord for the country of use, user manual, and full 12-month warranty.


Torrey Pines Scientific, Inc.

2713 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad, CA 92010 USA


Phone: 760-930-9400


Toll Free: 866-573-9104


Fax: 760-930-9480




Web site:


All Torrey Pines Scientific products are Made in the USA. They are all UL, CSA, and CE or equivalent agency certified and available in voltages for use anywhere in the world.

Woman stabbed in Hollywood-Robert O’Block’s Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21st, 2013

Woman stabbed on Hollywood Walk of Fame-Reported by Robert O’Block.


Robert O’Block reports that three men have been accused of stabbing and killing a 27-year-old woman named Christine Calderon. Dustin James Kinnear, 26, Jason Joel Wolstone, 33, and Brian Joseph Widdows, 34, have all been arrested. Kinnear has been accused of the man who stabbing Calderon after she snapped their picture on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and refused to give him $1.



Robert O’Block, PhD, is the founder of the Center for National Threat Assessment, CNTA.

Robert O’Block’s Whodunit-Marvin Ragan Family

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31st, 2013

Brought to you by Robert O’Block.

Robert O'Block_Ragan_Family

Another one of Robert O’Block’s groundbreaking Whodunits. This one features the Marvin Ragan Family and the Unadilla Mystery. Published December 23rd, 1981.


Robert O’Block: Cargo Train Derails

Posted in Robert O'Block on May 29th, 2013

Robert O’Block reports that after colliding into a trash truck on Tuesday, a CSX freight train derailed in a Baltimore, MD, suburb.  The explosion that followed the derailment shook homes that were at least a half mile away.  According to witnesses, they could see the column of smoke for miles.

The derailment occurred around 2:00 p.m. in Rosedale, a suburb of eastern Baltimore.  Although Hazmat teams arrived at the site of the explosion, Baltimore County Fire Chief John J. Hohman indicated during a news conference that no dangerous inhalants were burning, so an evacuation was not needed.  The driver of the truck was rushed to the hospital in serious condition, but the two CSX workers aboard the train were not hurt, according to fire officials.

Dale Walston, who lives approximately a half mile away from where the explosion occurred, believed that he could smell chemicals.

In an email that Walston sent to The Associated Press, he advised that “it shook my house pretty violently and knocked things off the shelves.”

The eastern part of Baltimore was covered by the thick column of black smoke. The front side of a warehouse located near the train tracks blew off, and according to CSX spokesman Gary Sease, sodium chlorate was located on one of the trains, which the Department of Transportation classifies as a hazardous material.

A spokeswoman for Amtrak advised that its Northeast Corridor is not being affected.

Several videos were posted to Facebook shortly after the explosion. The videos show the fire, and then just a few minutes later an explosion shakes the area.  According to Hohman, firefighters had thought about letting the fires burn out but then decided to hose them down.

Photos taken from the air show at least 12 train cars of the tracks, one of them being a tanker car.  Sease indicated that four of the derailed cars were believed to be carrying terephthalic acid. This is used in the manufacturing of plastics, among other things.  However, he then went on to say that this is not listed as a hazardous material.

This is the third serious train derailment that has occurred in the month of May.  On May 17th over 70 people were wounded when a commuter train derailed in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The eastbound train coming from New York City derailed during evening rush hour. It was able to come to a stop, but then approximately 20 seconds later was struck by a westbound train.

Also, this past Saturday in Rockview, MO, a cargo train crash wounded seven people and obliterated a highway overpass that might take a year to repair.

CSX advised that in each of the past five years they have reported over 100 deaths in accidents involving the railroad.

The Federal Railroad Administration advises that CSX reported 104 deaths in 2012, 122 in 2011, and 117 in 2010. Additionally, the railroad reported 102 deaths in 2009 and 122 in 2008.

On CSX’s system in the eastern part of the U.S., the number of derailments have gone down since 2008 when they reported 229 derailments.  Last year, CSX reported 143 derailments. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, CSX manages over 21,000 miles of track in 23 eastern states and two provinces in Canada.

Brought to you by Robert O’Block



Robert O’Block: Terrorists Lost

Posted in Forensics, Robert O'Block on May 17th, 2013

Robert O’Block reports that for a brief time the Justice Department was unable to locate two known or suspected terrorists who were in the witness protection program, while letting others on the no-fly list board commercial flights.  This information is based on a watchdog report that created some criticism of the administration.

The accusations were first made in an inspector general report that was released on Thursday, May 16th.  This report indicated that the new identities of some individuals in witness protection were not shared correctly.  As a result of this mistake, those new names or identities were not updated in the no-fly list.

According to the report, “it was possible for known or suspected terrorists to fly on commercial airplanes in or over the United States and evade one of the government’s primary means of identifying and tracking terrorists’ movements and actions.

In addition, the inspector general’s office indicated that as of last July, the U.S. Marshals Service could not locate two previous participants who were known or suspected terrorists, and it was believed that these individuals were outside the United States.  The report then went on to say that the department “did not definitively know” how many known or suspected terrorists there were who had been allowed to enter the program.

Even though the Justice Department advises that these issues have for the most part been corrected, Republicans

Though the Justice Department says these problems have in large part been corrected, Republicans took hold of the report as another illustration of negligence in the administration.  The Department of Justice is already under attack for confiscating the phone records of journalists, as the IRS deals with criticism in regard to a procedure of singling out conservative groups.

In response to last year’s report, the Department of Justice began to make changes.  The department advises that it is now disclosing information with other agencies in regard to the new identities of those in the witness protection program.

In a correspondence to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the department indicated that it has since “identified, located and minimized the threat of all former known or suspected terrorists” in the program, including the two people the department lost track of for a brief time.  Officials from the Justice Department advised that those two left the witness protection program and the country many years ago, and they have made no attempt to return to the United States.  ”They’re not fugitives,” advised one official.

According to officials from the Department of Justice, there is “no threat to public safety.”  They then emphasized that those in the witness protection program had been thoroughly scrutinized from the beginning, and that most of them were admitted to the program prior to the September 11, 2001, attack.

Both the Inspector General and the Department of Justice emphasized that the witness protection program has assisted them in major investigations, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  The amount of known or suspected terrorists in the program only comes to a fraction of a percent.  However, Republicans were not convinced by these assurances.

In a recent statement, Senator Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated that “this is just another example of the Justice Department’s ineptness at the basic handling of an important program.  These people may be in a witness protection program, but they were still known or suspected terrorists.  It’s only logical that the federal government know where they are.”

Brought to you by Robert O’Block.


Robert O’Block-Whodunit-”Bull” McGee Mystery

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2013
Robert O'Block Whodunit-"Bull" McGee Mystery

Another one of Robert O’Block’s groundbreaking Whodunit mysteries. This one details the “Bull” McGee Mystery, which took place in August of 1972.

Brought to you by Robert O’Block.

Arrest made in 20 year cold case-Robert O’Block

Posted in Uncategorized on May 3rd, 2013

This article brought to you by Robert O’Block.

The Associated Press has released an article about an arrest made in an Oklahoma cold case. After 20 years,  justice for three young victims may finally be served. Authorities believe that the bodies found in an 8 foot hold were those of Wendy Camp, her daughter Cynthia Britto, and Wendy’s sister-in-law, Lisa Kregear. The women have been missing since May of 1992. Grover J. Prewitt Jr. has admitted to possibly being an accessory after the fact. He was the one who dug the hole, though he believed it to be for a septic tank for his mother. His mother also asked him to sprinkle the ground with black pepper which seemed strange at the time. Grover reports that he never looked in the hole because he didn’t want to know what he would find. Prewitt’s nephew had been married to Wendy Camp and was in a custody dispute with her at the time of her disappearance. He remember his mother saying she ‘took care’ of them, referring to Camp, Britto, and Kregear. For more information, click here.



Robert O’Block: Become Certified as a Forensic Nurse

Posted in Certifications, Forensics on May 3rd, 2013

Certified Forensic Nurse, CFN® Program offered by ACFEI, founder Robert O’Block

Set yourself apart from the rest of the pack!

Forensic nursing is an exciting and rapidly growing specialty field that offers great opportunities and rewarding career options for nursing professionals. Being a Certified Forensic Nurse, CFN® can set you apart from your peers to get the recognition and respect you deserve, both in the medical community and the legal arena.

Why should you choose the CFN credential?

The CFN program can demonstrate to a nursing professional’s colleagues, patients, clients, employers, and the health care community that he or she has an extensive base of knowledge and education, direct professional experience, and a commitment to continuing education and excellence within the forensic nursing profession.

The CFN credential can also help contribute to the weight and relevance of the CFN’s testimony and the applicability of the evidence that the nurse presents in a court of law.

Credential Content

The topics covered in the CFN credential are:

  • Non-traditional role models
  • Child abuse
  • School zone violence
  • Elder abuse
  • Evidence collection
  • Workplace violence
  • Wound identification


How do I maintain the CFN credential?

Individuals are expected to maintain membership and complete 15 hours of forensic-related continuing education credits per year to maintain their CFN status. The initial CFN course provides 15 CE credits, fulfilling this requirement.

Future CEs may be earned through ACFEI’s Executive Summits and/or completing tests for the continuing education articles located in The Forensic Examiner®, provided in our online course catalog.

Brought to you by Robert O’Block


Robert O’Block Explains Certification

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1st, 2013

Certification provides you with documentation indicating that you have met certain educational or training standards within your field. It establishes that you have achieved specific accomplishments, abilities, experiences, and/or knowledge and are capable of demonstrating these in your discipline. This supplies your employers, co-workers, and clientele with a sort of quality assurance.

Becoming certified may aid you in enhancing your education, receiving a job placement, attaining a promotion, or validating education and experience. Some added benefits for becoming certified may include; workplace distinction, building a professional standard, and attaining a certain level of authority.

Please note that certification does not give you legal permission to practice or work within a specific field, only licensure can provide that.

Published by Robert O’Block

Spider-Man steals from tour company-Robert O’Block

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30th, 2013

Brought to you by Robert O’Block.


Oh, the tangled webs we weave.

Hollywood is on the lookout for a Spider-Man impersonator who stole nearly $6,000 from a tour company employee. Spider-Man impersonators on Hollywood Boulevard have been questioned, but thus far no arrest has been made. Starlines Tour Bus Company is searching for leads, and other superheroes such as Captain America, The Hulk, and Wonder Woman have agreed to help out.