Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Adjunct Faculty

We have Jan Burke, Eileen Dreyer, and local member Eleanor Sullivan to thank for this stellar line-up!

** Ann Burgess

Burgess is world-renowned in forensic science. Not only was she one of the authors of Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives (with the FBI's John Douglas and Robert Ressler -- an extremely important book, this was one of the first scientific studies of serial killers) and the Crime Classification Manual, Sexual Assault of Children and Adolescents. She’s also the author of more than 21 books and 135 articles) that are in use by those in medicine, psychology, criminology, forensic science, criminal justice -- everywhere. She's also published studies on trauma, violence against women, domestic violence, infant abductions, elder abuse and other important subjects. She founded one of the first hospital-based rape crisis intervention programs in Boston in 1972.

** Detective Joe Burgoon (retired)

With funds from a federal grant, Burgoon is heading an initiative to tackle more than 70 unsolved violent crimes warehoused at the St. Louis County Police Department. Burgoon, a local hero for his work on cold cases, will focus initially on cases likely to have DNA evidence. Burgoon retired after 27 years as a police homicide investigator with the St. Louis Police. He also works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Team Adam project. In his tireless pursuit of justice, Burgoon has appeared on Oprah to talk about unsolved crimes.

** Mary Case, M.D.

Dr. Case is one of the country's leading medical examiners. A board certified pathologist with training and extensive experience in neuropathy, she has over 30 years of experience in forensic death investigation. She is a professor of pathology at St. Louis University Health Services Center. She's a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (the leading forensic science organization in the US), the American Society of Clinical Pathology, and the College of American Pathologists. She has been on the Board of the National Association of Medical Examiners (she is currently on their planning and accreditation committees). She also has numerous publication credits.

** Mary Fran Ernst, B.S.

Ernst has over 40 years of experience in pathology and toxicology. She's a past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She's also the recipient of AAFS General Section’s John R. Hunt Award (for Outstanding contributions to the forensic sciences) and the National Association of Medical Examiners Outstanding Service Award (for significant contributions to the advancement of the medicolegal investigation of deaths in the United States). She has been on the faculty of the St Louis University School of Medicine's Pathology Department since 1972, and coordinator of courses for their Forensic Pathology Elective since 1993, and since 1995 has served as the university's Director of Medicolegal Education. She has been a medicolegal death investigator with the St. Louis County ME's Office since 1975. She is the Co-Director of the Medicolegal Death Investigation Training Course sponsored by the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She's a Board Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator. She's the author of numerous articles on death investigation, and is a co-author of a widely used text, The Medicolegal Death Investigator, and also the Handbook for Death Scene Investigators.

** Gwen Haugen

Haugen is a forensic anthropologist who has worked on death investigations in the U.S. and far beyond. As a member of the forensic anthropology team with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Hawaii, she traveled to remote locations throughout the world to recover remains of members of the American military, including many cases from the WWII and Vietnam eras. She was the scientific leader of a team of 13 people, mostly Mortuary Affairs Specialists, who worked in Southeast Asia to search for unaccounted for Americans. An eyewitness account of Haugen’s work appears in Earl Swift’s Where They Lay: Searching for America’s Lost Soldiers.

** Lt. Kevin Lawson

Lawson is Commander of the St. Louis County Police Department Crime Laboratory. He is responsible for the operational management of the crime laboratory and the forensic staff, which provides support services to the law enforcement agencies within the St. Louis County metropolitan area. The Police Crime Laboratory routinely handles in excess of 9,000 case analysis requests per year. The cases involve the forensic disciplines of chemistry, biology/DNA, firearms and tool marks and photography. Lawson also serves as an instructor in criminal investigation.

** Dr. Rena Roy

Roy is a DNA specialist who works at the Police Crime Lab.

** Rick McMahan

As a civilian Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Rick worked a wide range of person and property crimes from narcotics to theft to sexual assault to white collar fraud. Now, as a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) Rick has investigated extremist militias, violent street gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs, as well as being a firearms instructor and an on-the-job trainer for new agents. Rick's short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Techno Noire, Low Down & Derby, and the Mystery Writer’s of America Death Do Us Part, edited by Harlan Coben.

** Officer Pete St. James

St. James trains and handles his working partner, a 90-lb.German Shepherd named Bo. The dog was bred in and imported from Czechoslovakia. Bo is trained in “bite work” as a patrol dog and to track explosives. St. James also handles a mixed-breed/German Shepherd named Lucy. Lucy is a cadaver dog. Unlike service dogs, the audience can interact with these two canine guests! (That's me, Joanna, Officer St. James and Bo in the photo.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I Can't Believe It, Either

Since this is still my end of the process, I thought I'd update you on the latest in the faculty. This is news I never thought I'd be able to share, because this speaker is so in demand in the forensic and educational community, I never ever thought we might see her in the writing community. I can't begin to tell you how lucky we are that she's joining us.

Let me begin by saying that she is one of my personal heroes. She is the first forensic nurse. She was one of the four people who compiled the statistics and wrote the seminal work, Serial Homicide: Patterns and Motives that led to the founding of the Behavioral Sciences Unit at the FBI, and the practice of profiling. Two of the other names on that study you might recognize are John Douglas and Robert Ressler. The same team also collaborated on the Crime Classification Manual of violent crimes.

Ann Burgess is not a member of the FBI. She is a nurse and an educator who helped found one of the first hospital-based crisis counseling programs in the world. Her work at Boston College has helped revolutionize studies in impacts of violence on children and communities, elderly abuse, cyber-stalking and internet sex crimes. She teaches courses in victimology, forensic science, crime and justice, and continues her research in response patterns of crime victims, forensic markers in the elderly, and stalking and battering.

As Jan Burke said, I'd be perfectly happy to pay the entire tuition for Forensic U just to sit at this woman's feet and soak in her wisdom. Not to mention her experience. The difficulty we're having is in trying to pick one subject from her wealth of knowledge and experience to present. My instinct is to to focus on profiling and stalking. But I'd be happy to hear any interests from you.

The very best part is that, while Ann is the surprise, she is by no means the only star in our pantheon(okay, I get a bit excited when I think of the people we have coming). We now have, in addition to Lee Lofland, DP Lyle, Jan Burke and I, eight active forensic experts coming to share their expertise, another three waiting for agency approval, and one, whom if I don't hear from him soon is going to be about six inches shorter(I can say that because he's a good buddy--and a helluvan expert).

And my feeling is that if you're serious about your research, you can save all that time you troll all the different conferences to be able to listen to one, maybe two experts. We have them all right here, from forensic pathology to bomb and arson to DNA. And not just people who've been in the industry, or who have studied it. People who are working in it right now, who know the current concerns, practices and proclivities.

Joanna will be updating the bios on all the faculty soon. Don't wait too long to sign up. We have a limited number of spaces available. I really hope to see you there. I'll be the one sitting at Ann Burgess's feet vying for room with Jan Burke.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Plans! We've got plans!

We've had some wonderful experts sign on this week, and more to come! You've already heard that Dr. Mary Case and Gwen Haugen will be joining us. Dr. Doug Lyle, Eileen Dreyer, Lee Lofland and I are also looking forward to presenting information about writing, police procedure, and forensic science in a more in-depth fashion than we can at a fan convention or general writing conference.

This week, we've learned of several other experts who have agreed to join us! We will post more details about our faculty soon, so check back often. For now I'll just hint here that we'll have some nationally recognized professionals on hand to teach you about forensic science and police procedure.

You'll remember that we told you a few weeks ago that the early registrants are eligible for one of the limited spaces for a trip to an indoor shooting range on Thursday, November 1. Those spaces are almost gone, so sign up now and you can join us at Bull's Eye LLC Indoor Shooting Range. The shooting range trip costs an additional $35, but that low fee includes transportation from hotel, ammunition, safety gear, targets, and assistance from a trained range instructor.