Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center (Cal State L.A.)

1800 Paseo Rancho Castilla LA 90032

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From the SLA to DNA – Sunday, November 5th

The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, Esotouric and Professor Donald Johnson invite you to the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab for an afternoon’s inquiry into the history and practice of forensic science in Southern California, in support of new research coming out of the Criminalistics Department.

Presentation #1:

Join us for a joint presentation by authors Brad Schreiber and Mike Digby on the fatal shootout between the Los Angeles Police Department and Symbionese Liberation Army on May 18, 1974 along East 54th Street in South Los Angeles. Each speaker brings a unique focus to this tragic event, the culmination of a nationwide manhunt for heiress Patricia Hearst, and a watershed in tactical response for law enforcement in Southern California.

Brad Schreiber, the author of “Revolution’s End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA” will connect all the forces and characters at play, from FBI directors to CIA operatives, police informants and revolutionaries, in the maelstrom of activity surrounding the Symbionese Liberation Army, from their genesis to their fiery end. His book is the first to prove that the LAPD purposely used incendiary grenades to burn down the house and he explains how the police became militarized due to the first nationally-televised presence of SWAT teams.

Mike Digby, author of “The Bombs, Bombers and Bombings of Los Angeles,” brings his nearly 35 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the last seventeen as a Detective Bomb Technician in the Arson/Bomb Squad, to discuss and provide perspective about the many bombings committed by members of the SLA in Northern and Southern California.

You can look forward to a dynamic and exciting presentation.

Presentation #2:

Ms. Beverly Kerr is the Supervising Criminalist in the DNA section of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Laboratory, where she supervises 36 crime analysts. With 17 years of CSI experience, Ms. Kerr has consulted for “CSI: Las Vegas,” and numerous scripted series. She has appeared as an on-camera expert in news and documentary series including “New Detectives” and “48 Hours.”

For her presentation, Ms. Kerr will discuss the Leslie Karen Long cold case murder, solved after almost four decades through DNA evidence.

THE CRIME: On the evening of December 3, 1978 Leslie Karen Long, 20, married mother of three, was working at a Chevron station in Palmdale when she was robbed and kidapped by two men. They drove her to a desolate stretch of Highway 14, where they raped and shot her dead. A customer reported the abandoned gas station, with an open safe and Long’s purse and car left behind, but it was three days before Long’s body was discovered near Soledad Canyon Road. The LASD investigation soon went cold. Physical evidence collected in 1978 sat in storage until 2006, when the crime was assigned to the LASD’s cold case unit. As part of the renewed investigation, DNA was collected and entered into the CODIS database. Two profiles were identified in 2015: Terry Moses and Neal Antoine Matthews, both known gang members. Moses pleaded guilty in 2016 and Matthews was convicted at trial in September 2017. Ms. Kerr will walk us through the initial crime investigation and the cold case work which brought the killers to justice nearly 40 years later, and answer your questions about these new tools in crime investigation.