Cold A Long Time: Solving A 22-year-old Forensic Mystery

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Visionary Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA, Esotouric and the California Forensic Science Institute, 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 rare opportunity to visit the Cal State LA School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics at the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. Learn from working forensic investigators, true crime authors, and educators.  Discover the real art and science of crime investigation.

Join acclaimed true crime author John Leake and trace evidence expert Lynne Herold, Senior Criminalist with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, for this special presentation based on John’s latest book Cold A Long Time: An Alpine Mystery, winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher Award—Bronze Medal, True Crime.

The Mystery:
In August 1989, Duncan MacPherson, a pro hockey player, disappeared in Europe. With no help from the police, his parents searched the Alps looking for him. They found his car near the gondola station at the Stubai Glacier, a popular ski resort near Innsbruck, Austria. The car had sat in the lot for six weeks without being reported. Fourteen years later, Duncan’s body was found at the resort.

What happened to Duncan MacPherson? In order to answer that question, true crime author John Leake sought the expertise of trace evidence examiner Lynne Herold, whom he knew had served as a key witness in the prosecution of international serial killer Jack Unterweger, the subject of John’s first book.

Join John and Lynne as they team up a second time to solve the 22-year-old forensic mystery of Duncan MacPherson’s disappearance. Through presentation of physical evidence recovered from the scene, eyewitness testimony, chronology of events, additional evidentiary research and peculiar gaps in the forensic records, crime lab attendees will follow John through the steps by which he discovered a shocking cover up and the answers for which Duncan MacPherson’s parents had been searching for more than a decade.

Also featured at this special crime lab seminar is a discussion of John Leake’s first book, Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer, about the Austrian criminal Jack Unterweger. Discover how Unterweger expanded his murderous activities from Europe to Los Angeles and put himself squarely in the crosshairs of trace evidence expert Lynne Herold. Of her testimony at Unterweger’s Austrian trial, his attorney stated ”[she] was the most impressive expert witness. When she started talking about the ligatures, I could see the jury looking at Unterweger in a darker light, and I knew then that we were in big trouble.” Join us as John and Lynne discuss the ligature evidence from Jack Unterweger’s last trial, and how an international team of forensic scientists finally put an end to a deadly career.


Born in Dallas, Texas, JOHN LEAKE went to Vienna, Austria on a graduate school scholarship and ended up living in the city for over a decade, working as a freelance writer and translator. His first book, Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer was a New York Times Sunday Book Review “Editors’ Choice,” a Men’s Vogue “Best Book of 2007,” and the inspiration of The Infernal Comedy, starring John Malkovich.

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 the University of Southern California in 1984. Dr. Herold has been involved in the analysis of trace evidence and testimony several “high profile” cases, as well as scores of murders, serial murders, rapes and child abuse cases over the past 30 years. In 2008, Dr. Herold was honored as the California Homicide Investigators’ Association Support Person of the Year for her years of work as a trace evidence examiner and the assistance it has provided in the investigation of felony cases.

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.