ⓘ Sheryl McCollum


ⓘ Sheryl McCollum

Sheryl "Mac" McCollum is an American crime analyst, college professor, founder and director of the non-profit Cold Case Investigative Research Institute based in Atlanta, Georgia, and a crime scene analyst for a CBS affiliate.


1. Education

McCollum graduated high school from Woodward Academy, a preparatory school in Atlanta. She received a bachelors degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University and a masters in criminal justice from Kaplan University.


2. Career

McCollums law-enforcement career began in 1982 at the Rape Crisis Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. From there,she was director of the Metro Atlanta Cold Case Crime Analysis Squad. During the 1996 Olympic Games, she was the coordinator for the Crisis Response Team that planned and trained for four years and responded to the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, providing victim services.

She also served as the Georgia state director of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

In 2004, McCollum founded Cold Case Investigative Research Institute CCIRI, a collaboration between Auburn University Montgomery, Faulkner University and Bauder College. CCIRI unites researchers, practitioners, students and the criminal justice community to work collectively to advance research, training and techniques in solving cold cases. CCIRI has since worked with 27 colleges and universities, more than 8.000 students and 600 experts, who have volunteered their time and talents to solve cold cases. a nationwide volunteer network made up of 27 colleges and universities, 600 forensic professionals and 5.000 students that assist victims families and law enforcement by working on unsolved homicides, missing persons and kidnapping cases.

Beginning in 2008, CNN followed four Bauder College students as they built case files in the Chandra Levy and Natalee Holloway cold-case investigations, led by McCollum and her Cold Case Investigative Research Institute. In 2009, McCollums students, after pursuing the Levy investigation for more than a year, narrowed the suspect list to one.

In 2017, McCollum held workshops at CrimeCon, a conference advertised as a "true-crime theme park" for amateur sleuths. McCollums workshops included Wine & Crime sessions, which she described for CrimeCons blog: "I’m giving you exactly what we know about a case that we’re working on. I’m holding nothing back. You’ll get the autopsy reports, the crime scene photographs, witness statements-- anything that we have, you will have. Then you go to work."

McCollum in August 2019 joined CBS46 as a crime scene investigator for CSI Atlanta, working exclusively with a Channel 46 team to investigate unsolved Georgia cases, including the 1946 Moore’s Ford Bridge Lynching case.