‘Psychology of Homicide’ presentation at Volume One

Retired detective Steve Spingola gives presentation on cases he covered during his career

More stories from Brittany Farr


Photo by Kendall Ruchti

Steve Spingola gives his presentation “Psychology of Homicide” at Volume One last Friday.

A retired Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) homicide detective visited Volume One last Friday to give a presentation called “Psychology of Homicide.”

Now an investigator on the Oxygen Network’s crime show “Cold Justice,” Spingola spent 15 years working as a Lieutenant Detective for the MPD. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2001, according to his website.

Volume One hosted Spingola for a two-hour presentation, where he talked about the murder cases he has covered during his years. His slideshow included graphic images of murder cases he investigated.

“Some of these photographs are very gruesome,” Spingola said in the beginning of his presentation. “If there’s something you want to talk about more let me know.”

“All I ask you to do is understand what we (the police) do on a daily basis,” Spingola continued, preparing the audience for the stories he was going to share. “Understand some of the problems we have gone through.”

During his presentation, Spingola highlighted his experiences ranging from prostitute murders to the famous Jeffrey Dahmer case, a serial killer who targeted young men in Milwaukee from the late 1970s and the early 1990s.

Dahmer killed seventeen male victims, raping and dismantling them and practicing cannibalism. He was sentenced to 14 life sentences in court, according to CrimeMuseum.org.

Spingola showed crime scene photos of Dahmer’s apartment, victims and a mugshot from when Dahmer was taken in. He then walked the audience through Dahmer’s crimes with each slide, providing a timeline for the murders.

Having been an investigator in the case, Spingola recollected his conversations with Dahmer during the interrogation process.

“He (Dahmer) was very truthful,” Spingola said. He said when asking Dahmer questions during the interrogation he had been easy to talk to and open to answering all questions. “I could tell you stories from him that you just wouldn’t believe.”

The venue was filled with people waiting to see him, packing the house. Some audience members got there early enough for a chair, but most had to stand in the back.

The presentation drew in a variety of members from the Eau Claire community, including students at UW-Eau Claire.

“My mom had told me about him,” said Ashleigh Johnson, a senior criminal justice student. “I was so excited to come, I’m a nerd when it comes to any criminal justice stuff. I thought it was really cool to see someone with firsthand experience … especially the Jeffrey Dahmer case which is one of the most famous.”

Johnson said she comes from a family of law enforcement. She said her parents always believed she’d be a good lawyer because she likes to argue a lot.

“In terms of presentations, it was really long,” said David Vodenlich, a first-year criminal justice student. “But the content was really good.”

The graphic images didn’t upset Vodenlich, he said.

“That stuff doesn’t really bother me that much,” Vodenlich said. “That’s one of the reasons I want to do what he (Spingola) does. There’s not many people that can look at that stuff and not let it get to you. Because it does get to you.”

To find out more about Steve Spingola, see him on “Cold Justice” at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. central time on Saturdays, according the The Oxygen Network’s website.