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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: Stalking The Night Stalker
Almost exactly thirty years ago, Richard Ramirez was captured by a mob of enraged East Los Angeles community members, ending the reign of terror of the self-proclaimed Night Stalker, who laid siege to the city through a series of vicious home invasion attacks in the spring and summer of 1985.
Giselle Lavigne is a forensic investigator for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who worked on analyzing the physical evidence used for Richard Ramirez’ murder trial. She will present in great detail on the full complement of forensic evidence that was gathered, revealing the actions of the killer through the trace, blood and other evidence he left behind.
Presentation #2: The 60 Freeway Slayer
Professor Donald Johnson, our host and the Director of the Criminalistics Department, will present on six murders of prostitutes in 1993-94, which were initially attributed to an unknown “60 Freeway Slayer.”
When Professor Johnson was a forensic investigator for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, he investigated the murders, and gathered the evidence which, almost a decade later with the introduction of DNA evidence into the courtroom, would result in the conviction and death sentence of the “60 Freeway Slayer,” who DNA evidence showed to be incarcerated felon Ivan Hill. The case is a pivotal example of the remarkable impact that new forensic technology has in the courtroom and the lab.
By the afternoon’s conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the evolving toolkit used to gather and interpret physical evidence for the benefit of investigating officers and juries, from the 1980s to the present.