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. For a sneak peak into Professor Johnson’s crime reconstruction lab, here’s a video interview with LAVA co-founder Richard Schave. The next LAVA crime lab event is TRACE: INSIDE THE WORLD OF LYNNE HEROLD, CRIMINALIST on April 17.

Click here to purchase your ticket for the Feb. 13th crime lab event.

Visionary Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA and Esotouric, invites you to participate in a special four-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.

“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 Professor Donald Johnson, 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 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–and very graphic, viewer discretion is advised–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.

Click here to purchase your ticket for the Feb. 13th crime lab event. (If you get a “page not found” error message, just refresh the page and it should show up.)

The Forensic Science Center has ample and free parking.  The entrance to the building is readily located from the parking lot.