The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony

If you’d like to be contacted when another crime lab tour and lecture are scheduled, subscribe to LAVA’s occasional Crime Lab Newsletter.

Visionary Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA and Esotouric, invites you to participate in a special three-hour event at LA’s regional crime laboratory, on the campus of Cal State LA. Space is very limited and pre-reservation required for this unprecedented opportunity to tour the crime lab, learn from working forensic investigators and educators, and discover the real art and science of crime scene investigation.

Cost: $20 per person. To reserve your spot, and for payment instructions, contact Kim through the contact link above. We will need your full name, email address and the name(s) of anyone whose ticket you wish to purchase. If your friends wish to buy their own tickets, they should reserve individually. Please note that space is extremely limited for this special event.

“The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony” provides an insider’s view of the scientific investigation of crime, as  Criminalistics faculty and graduate students share their knowledge and insight on the theory and practice of forensic science in our criminal justice system.  Attendees will also tour Cal State LA’s state-of the-art teaching and research facilities at the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

The afternoon begins with an introduction to the field of Criminalistics and the use of physical evidence in criminal investigations, hosted by Professors Donald Johnson and Katherine Roberts, followed by an overview of the academic and research programs in Criminalistics at Cal State LA. 

Then, attendees will be provided with additional insight on forensic methods during breakout sessions on Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Chemistry, and Forensic Biology.  The CSI session, hosted by Donald Johnson and Katherine Scriven, highlights tools used by forensic specialists in the field and emerging technologies in CSI.  The Forensic Chemistry session, hosted by Katherine Roberts and Isaac Cheney, surveys methods used for the analysis of trace evidence and controlled substances, and current research will be presented on the development of methods to detect narcotic-tampering by health professionals.  The Forensic Biology session, hosted by Kristin Honig and Stacy Wilkinson, highlights body fluid and DNA analysis, with a presentation on current research on methods to improve the recovery of semen in rape cases. 

The afternoon concludes with a true life investigation overview regarding the murder of a family in Los Angeles County and opportunities to ask questions.  By the program’s conclusion, attendees will have a basic understanding of the strengths and limitations of forensic methods used in criminal investigations, and a fresh perspective on the real art and science that takes place behind the scenes and the headlines.   

A portion of the proceeds from this event supports the research of Criminalistics graduate students at Cal State Los Angeles.