TRACE: inside the world of Lynne Herold, Criminalist

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Click here to purchase your ticket for the April 17 event. For a crime lab preview from participating criminalistics graduate students, see this video.

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 spend an afternoon in the company of Lynne Herold, Senior Criminalist with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

“TRACE: inside the world of Lynne Herold, Criminalist” is an exploration of the scientific investigation of major crimes, revealed through methods of trace evidence analysis and select case histories. Attendees will also have an opportunity to tour Cal State LA’s state-of the-art teaching and research facilities in the Criminalistics Department of the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

“TRACE” consists of three lectures by Lynne Herold and three breakout scientific workshops presented by Criminalistics graduate students. 

Lecture #1 is Lynne Herold’s personal introduction to her life and work, entitled “My World and Welcome To It.” Lecture #2 explores the use of blood stain patterns in the analysis of complex crime scenes (and one or more lucky raffle winners will get the chance to create their own blood stain patterns the way the pros do, by beating a blood-soaked sponge with a baseball bat). Lecture #3 is a case history of the Phil Spector /Lana Clarkson murder investigation, for which Lynne Herold did the trace evidence analyses which resulted in Spector’s conviction in his second murder trial.

The scientific workshop topics include blood spatter re-creation and analysis, the magic of Mylar and static electricity, and insights into hair/fiber analysis.

By the program’s conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the real work that’s done by a senior LASD criminalist, and the tools and techniques used to interpret crime scenes for the benefit of investigating officers and juries. Come discover the reality, so different from and so much more interesting than, what you’ve seen on TV.

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Lynne Herold, Ph.D. is a Senior Criminalist in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Scientific Services Bureau. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Kent State University in 1974, and her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from USC in 1984. Over the past two decades, Dr. Herold has been involved in hundreds of “high profile” cases, and has been instrumental in the successful prosecution of scores of murder and serial murder cases. In 2003, Dr. Herold was assigned to the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, whose name has been largely overshadowed by the celebrity status of her accused killer, record producer Phil Spector. Dr. Herold devoted in excess of 1000 hours of work to the case, which went to trial in 2007. Dr. Herold’s examination of the physical evidence in this case was technical, detailed, exhaustive and her conclusions compelling. Additionally, she was able to advise prosecutors as to areas in which the testimony of “hired gun” defense experts Dr. Henry Lee and Dr. Michael Baden could be impeached. Dr. Herold’s testimony, which lasted for five days before the eyes of the world via live television, was a textbook illustration of effective courtroom preparation and presentation. Although the 2007 trial ended in a mistrial (10 to 2 for guilt), jurors who were interviewed stated that her testimony was so well presented, they completely discounted the testimony of defense experts. In his second trial in 2009, Phil Spector was convicted of the murder of Lana Clarkson and sentenced to 19 years to life. In 2008, Dr. Herold was honored as the California Homicide Investigators’ Association Support Person of the Year.

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

Please note that NO PHOTOGRAPHS OR VIDEOTAPING of the presentation will be permitted, and cell phones must be stowed away. The material presented is graphic and intense. No children will be admitted.