J. Warner Wallace

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J. Warner Wallace
BornJames Warner Wallace
(1961-06-16) June 16, 1961 (age 62)
Torrance, California, U.S.
OccupationHomicide detective, Christian apologist, author, pastor
Alma materCalifornia State University at Long Beach
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Sheriff's Academy
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
SubjectChristian apologetics

James Warner Wallace (born June 16, 1961) is an American homicide detective and Christian apologist. Wallace is a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and an Adjunct Professor of Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) in La Mirada, California. He has authored several books, including Person of Interest, Cold-Case Christianity, God's Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, in which he applies principles of cold case homicide investigation to apologetic concerns such as the existence of God and the reliability of the Gospels. He has been featured as a cold case homicide expert on Fox 11 Los Angeles, truTV (formerly Court TV), and NBC.

Life and work[edit]

Wallace was born in Torrance, California. He graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Explorer Academy in 1978 (earning the Honor Cadet award). From there he went on to pursue a career in the arts, earning a bachelor's degree in design from California State University at Long Beach and a master's degree in architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[1] In 1988, Wallace returned to law enforcement, attending the Los Angeles Sheriff's Academy as a recruit for the Torrance Police Department (graduating again as the Honor Cadet). During his law enforcement career, Wallace served on a number of assignments, including SWAT, Gang Detail, and Robbery Homicide.[citation needed] He was also one of the founding members of the Torrance Police Department's Cold-Case Homicide Unit.[citation needed]

Investigative work[edit]

As a homicide detective, Wallace has investigated a number of high-profile cold-case murders.[citation needed] His cases have been featured on Dateline (NBC)[2] and North Mission Road (truTV). As a founding member of the Torrance Police Department Cold-Case Homicide Unit, Wallace earned the Sustained Superiority Award from the South Bay Police and Fire Medal of Valor committee.[3] He also won the 2015 California Peace Officer Association COPSWEST Award for best solved cold case.[4]

Conversion to Christianity[edit]

In 1996, Wallace became a Christian at the age of 35, after investigating the gospels as potential eyewitness accounts to the life of Jesus using his detective expertise.[5] Wallace attended and eventually joined the staff of Saddleback Church. He later enrolled in the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary master's program in theological studies, while serving as a youth pastor at Rock Hills Church[where?] and later as a lead pastor for an organization called the Rising Tide.[citation needed]

Christian apologetics[edit]

Wallace began applying the principles of cold-case homicide investigation[how?] to Christian apologetics. He has written five books addressing the evidence for Christianity: Person of Interest, Cold-Case Christianity, Alive, God's Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith. Wallace has been a guest on a number of television programs, including The 700 Club (CBN),[6] Praise The Lord (TBN),[7] 100 Huntley Street (Crossroads),[8][9] He has spoken on several radio broadcasts, including The Laura Ingraham Show, The Eric Metaxas Show, The Janet Mefferd Show, and In the Market with Janet Parshall.[citation needed]


  • Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. Presents 10 principles of cold-case homicide cases and using them to investigate the claims of the New Testament gospels.[10]
  • God's Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe. Wallace examines eight lines of evidence in what he calls the "crime scene of the universe," arguing they point to the existence of God.[11]
  • Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. Wallace examines the evidentiary history of Christianity, teaching Christians to accept their duty, begin training, learn how to investigate and communicate the Christian worldview.[12]
  • Alive: A Cold-Case Approach to the Resurrection. Wallace investigates the accounts of the resurrection of Christ and argues that there is evidence to believe them.[13]
  • Cold-Case Christianity for Kids: Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective. Wallace explains about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity.[14]
  • God's Crime Scene for Kids: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective. A mystery book in which readers explore evidence in Creation that points to God's existence.[15]
  • Forensic Faith for Kids: Learn to Share the Truth from a Real Detective. Investigative skills development for children.[15]
  • So the Next Generation Will Know: Preparing Young Christians for a Challenging World. Helping parents, youth leaders, and Christian teachers train the next generation with a Christian worldview.
  • Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World that Rejects the Bible. Wallace describes his investigative journey from atheism to Christianity.[16]

Television and movies[edit]

Wallace has appeared in several television productions and news broadcasts. His cold cases have been featured on Dateline (NBC).[2] he has also been featured on North Mission Road (TruTV, formerly CourtTV). He appeared several times as a homicide consultant on Behind the Screams (Reelz Network). Wallace has hosted a weekly television show, Cold-Case Christianity (NRBtv),and appeared in God's Not Dead 2 (PureFlix).

Dateline appearances[edit]

  • "Deadly Triangle". This episode describes the murder of Archie McFarland.[17]
  • "The Night Before Halloween". This show features the murder of Robin Hoynes.[18]
  • "Secrets in the Mist". This episode describes the murder of Carol Lubahn.[19]
  • "The Wire". This two-hour show features the murder of Lynne Knight.[20]
  • "The Threat". This Dateline episode features a case from 1988. It describes the murder of Barbara “Joan” Bradford who was shot to death in her home.[21]
  • "The Murder of Teri Hollis". This Dateline web special features a case J. Warner Wallace's father originally investigated involving a young girl who was murdered in Torrance in 1972.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Wallace is married to Susie who has been his co-author and editor. They have four children and live in Southern California.[1]


  1. ^ a b Wallace, J. Warner (May 11, 2012). "About the Author - J. Warner Wallace". Cold Case Christianity. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Jim Wallace", Nbc.news, Retrieved 2015-11-03. Archived September 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Resolution No. 2012-42", City Council, City of Torrance, California. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  4. ^ "2015 Best of COPSWEST Winners." Archived November 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Cpoa.org, Retrieved 2015-11-02.[dead link]
  5. ^ "'Cold-Case Christianity': The Gospel Through a Homicide Detective's Lens", Christian Post, May 7, 2013. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  6. ^ "Investigating the Truth of the Gospel", CBN. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  7. ^ "J. Warner Wallace on TBN With Rice Brooks", YouTube, April 7, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  8. ^ "Investigating the Supernatural", 100 Huntley Street. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  9. ^ "The Leon Show", TBN, June 25, 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-03. Archived March 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ J. Warner Wallace. Cold-Case Christianity, January 1, 2013, David C. Cook, ISBN 1-434-70469-6
  11. ^ J. Warner Wallace. God's Crime Scene, August 1, 2015, David C. Cook, ISBN 1-434-70784-9
  12. ^ J. Warner Wallace, Forensic Faith, May 1, 2017, David C. Cook, ISBN 1434709884
  13. ^ Warner Wallace, J. (March 2014). Alive: A Cold-Case Approach to the Resurrection. ISBN 978-1434707444.
  14. ^ Warner Wallace, J.; Wallace, Susie; Suggs, Rob (2016). Cold-case Christianity for Kids: Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-0781414579.
  15. ^ a b Warner Wallace, J.; Wallace, Susie; Suggs, Rob (2017). God's Crime Scene for Kids: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective. David C Cook. ISBN 978-1434710321.
  16. ^ Warner Wallace, J. (September 21, 2021). Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World That Rejects the Bible. Zondervan. ISBN 978-0310111276.
  17. ^ "Deadly Triangle on Peacock".
  18. ^ "The Night Before Halloween on Peacock".
  19. ^ "Secrets in the Mist on Peacock".
  20. ^ "The Wire on Dateline". NBC News.
  21. ^ "The Threat Preview on Dateline". NBC News.
  22. ^ "The Murder of Teri Hollis". NBC News.

External links[edit]