Hot Lead and Hot Leads: Forensic Firearm / Gang Communication Analysis forensic science seminar

To purchase a ticket for this special event, click here. If you’d like to be contacted when another crime lab tour and lecture are scheduled, subscribe to LAVA’s occasional Crime Lab Newsletter.

Join us in the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab for an afternoon’s inquiry into the history and practice of forensic science in Los Angeles, in support of new research coming out of the Criminalistics Department. 

Presentation #1: The Secrets of Forensic Firearm Analysis with Forensic Firearm and Toolmark Examiner Michael I. Kelley

For our first talk, join Michael I. Kelley, who works with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as a trainer in the Firearm Identification unit, and who previously presented on his crime scene reconstruction of Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan, for an in-depth presentation on law enforcement techniques for analyzing projectiles and weapons from criminal investigations.

In this introduction to the science of forensic firearm analysis, illustrated with real crime scene photographs and casework, Mike will cover:

  • Examination of ammunition.
  • Microscopic comparisons of fired bullets, cartridge cases and toolmarks.
  • Distance Determination.
  • Serial number restorations.
  • Physical fracture matches.
  • The Cross Fire (IBIS) System
  • Toolmark identification

Presentation #2: Murder Behind Bars with LASD Team Leader and educator Nick Guskos

For our second talk, join LASD Team Leader and educator Nick Guskos, co-author of the 2013 textbook Criminal Investigation: An Illustrated Case Study Approach, for an insightful presentation inside the hidden world of gang communication. Nick takes us deep within the investigation into a case of a murder which occurred inside the walls of the Los Angeles County Jail. You’ll follow along as the case unfolds and is eventually solved through intelligence gathering. Intelligence gathering is the key to understanding all complex criminal organizations, including terrorism. This latter area is the topic of Nick’s doctoral dissertation, and will be covered at the conclusion of his talk.

By the afternoon’s conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the real work that’s done in the field by forensic investigators, and the tools and techniques used to interpret physical evidence and analyze intelligence for the benefit of investigating officers and juries.