Derrick Todd Lee – Baton Rouge Serial Killer

In Episode 9, Season 2, Just Science interviews Ray Wickenheiser, director of the New York State Police lab system and current ASCLD president. Ray takes us down to Cajun Country to the case of deranged “Baton Rouge Serial Killer,” Derrick Todd Lee, who targeted young women in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana during the early 2000s. Just Science and Ray jump into the details of the complex crime scenes Lee left throughout the city and discuss the significance of a muddy footwear impression, a computer cord, and DNA evidence, and how they helped break the case for a clear path to conviction. Derrick Todd Lee was convicted in 2004 and died on death row in 2016.

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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Ray Wickenheiser is currently the Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System, headquartered in Albany, New York. He is also a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) Board of Directors and the President for 2017. Mr. Wickenheiser has over 17 years of experience as a Crime Lab Director and over 33 years in forensic science. His areas of expertise include quality management, forensic DNA, serology, hair and fiber trace evidence, physical matching and comparison, glass fracture analysis, and forensic grain comparison. Mr. Wickenheiser is a qualified ISO Auditor, conducting audits in 10 states as an Auditor and DNA Lead Auditor. He has testified as an expert witness over 90 times, published numerous scientific articles, and is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences. Mr. Wickenheiser holds a Bachelor of Science Honors degree, a Master of Business Administration degree, and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Two Murders, One Trace Fiber

In episode eight, Season two, Just Science interviews Dr. Jan De Kinder, from the National institute of Forensic science and criminology in the Belgium Department of Justice. Dr. De Kinder explores how trace evidence was a critical piece of evidence in the murder of two young girls 20 years ago in Belgium. During the time of the murders Belgium was dealing with a large number of missing children cases. The suspect’s jeans ended up the key piece of evidence matching fibers to both of  the victim’s clothing.

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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After obtaining his PhD in Science in 1992, Jan DE KINDER worked as a post-doc researcher in the field of solid state physics and spectroscopy. In 1996, he was tasked to develop the area of crime scene ballistics / firearms identification at the National Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology. In 2001, he became the head of the Ballistics Section.

Since July 2006, Jan De Kinder is the Director-General of the National Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

During his career he has made numerous contributions to scientific journals and serves on a number of scientific committees of international meetings and panels. He was the chairman of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) in the period of 2009-2011 and 2015-2017, as well as of the International Forensic Strategic Alliance (IFSA) in the periods 2007-2008, and 2009-2010.

 

 


Additional Content:

FTCoE Trace Evidence Resources

Dr. De Kinder’s Research Gate Profile

10 years of 1:1 taping in Belgium — A selection of murder cases involving fibre examination

 

 

 

 

From Teeth to Trafficking

In Episode Seven, Season two, Just Science interviews Dr. John Kenney, who is also a member of the American Academy of Forensic Science, during the Cradle to Cane Conference held in Charleston South Carolina. Dr. Kenny discusses ways to identify human trafficking, not only in the field of dentistry, but also in other industries. This episode will not focus on one particular case but will describe many cases and examples where forensic odontologists are aiding the justice system by using age estimation. Please visit the forensicCOE.org for more information.

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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JOHN (JACK) KENNEY, DDS, MS, D-ABFO—Dr. Kenney has been in practice in Park Ridge, IL for 30 years. He graduated from Loyola University Dental School and completed a Master’s Degree and Certificate of Specialty in Pediatric Dentistry. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, a highly selective award recognizing outstanding contributions to the Dental Profession. Dr. Kenney is on Staff at Lutheran General Hospital and the Golf Surgicenter. As one of ~100 board certified North American forensic dentists, he has been active in the field for 30 years. He was twice elected President of the American Board of Forensic Odontology. Kenney is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a Trustee and Secretary of the Forensic Sciences Foundation. He Chairs their yearly Emerging Forensic Scientist Competition. He has been invited to lecture throughout the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, South America and most recently in China where he provided programs to Nanjing University’s Dental Hospital on the role of the dental team in detecting domestic violence and to their Medical School on Forensic Odontology and Forensic Anthropology. He was named as one of the “Top Clinicians in Continuing Education” by Dentistry Today magazine for the fifth consecutive year. He serves as one of three civilian dentist consultants to the US Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

A Gruesome Murder in Mesa

In episode six, season two, Just Science interviews Kimberly Meza from Mesa police Department during the annual ASCLD symposium held in Dallas, Texas. Kimberly describes how a blood spatter analyst takes in a scene, especially one as gruesome as this case, where the victim was brutally stabbed in their apartment by an unknown suspect. The suspects DNA that was found at the scene initially was a no match in CODIS, and the latent prints taken at the scene created no leads. For six months there were no DNA lead until a submitted sexual assault kit was entered into the system. The sexual assault kit was taken 9 days before the murder. Stay tuned as we navigate a case that could have gone unsolved if a woman had chosen not to have a sexual assault kit administered, her perpetrator being an ex-boyfriend and the father of her child.

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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Kimberly joined the Mesa Police Department in 2000. She began her career as a Forensic Scientist in the Biology Unit, performing serology, DNA and blood spatter analysis. Kimberly was promoted to Forensic Services Supervisor over the Biology Unit in 2007. In December 2011, she was promoted to Forensic Services Administrator overseeing the operations of the laboratory including the Administrative Business Unit, Biology Unit, Controlled Substances Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Evidence Processing Unit, Fingerprint Identification Unit, Firearms Unit, Laboratory Technician Unit, Latent Print Unit, Photography Unit and Toxicology Unit. She has a M.S. degree in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven and B.S. degree with a double major in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. Visit Kimberly’s Mesa profile here.

 

 

 


 

Atlanta Olympic Bombing

Season two, episode five of Just Science interviews John Collins during the annual ASCLD symposium in Dallas, Texas. This episode takes us back to a time when the United States was hosting the summer Olympics, in Atlanta, in 1996.  The summer of 1996 was meant to be an important moment for the heart of Georgia on the world’s stage, but instead is remembered by a horrific explosion, whose percussion echoed the planet.  Join us as John Collins walks us through the timeline of when law enforcement received an anonymous phone call warning of the bomb, to the forensic analysis of explosive devices, and how a pre nine eleven world tried to cope with such a shocking event.

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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John Collins is a High-Stakes Leadership Consultant & Executive Coach at Critical Victories in Dewitt, Michigan. He is also the Chief Managing Editor of Crime Lab Report and an Adjunct Professor of Forensic Science at Michigan State University. John has a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management and is formally certified as a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resource Management. He was trained by the College of Executive Coaching in 2012. John is a prolific author, coach, consultant, and speaker in the area of high-stakes leadership and communication. He is also internationally distinguished as an expert in the use of forensic science and scientific evidence in criminal jurisprudence.

 

 

 


Additional Content

A Mother’s Tale Part 2

Season two, episode four of Just Science involves a case through the eyes of an investigator.  Mike Weber, an investigator with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in the Crimes Against Children Unit, walks us through a case involving Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. Munchausen Syndrome by proxy is a rare form of child or elderly abuse where a primary caretaker exaggerates or creates their victim’s symptoms of illnesses, in this case through manipulation, deceit, and forgery. Not much is known about this type of crime because it is so rarely recognized and so difficult to prosecute. Listen along as Investigator Weber navigates us through his journey to justice in this horrific case involving an abusive and attention crazed chemist, a poisoned child, and an investigator who wants justice.

In part 2 we navigate this dramatic rollercoaster of a case, filled with deceit and cliffhangers that seem more like fiction than reality. We left off with the victim being tested in the hospital and Hope’s story starting to unravel…

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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INVESTIGATOR MIKE WEBER—Investigator Michael Weber has been a law enforcement officer for 31 years. Investigator Weber retired from the Arlington Police Department in 2008 to accept a position as an Investigator with the Tarrant County (TX) District Attorney’s Office in the Crimes Against Children Unit where he currently assists prosecutors in preparation of cases for trial and actively investigates special circumstance cases involving child victims. Investigator Weber investigates all claims of Medical Child Abuse (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy) that are generated in Tarrant County and has investigated 16 such claims in his 7 years with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. These investigations have led to 5 convictions for Injury to a Child, 1 case that is currently being adjudicated, 1 case under active investigation, 1 investigation that was referred to an out of state agency where the injury (surgery) occurred, and 8 investigations where either there were no injuries that allowed for prosecution or where the child actually had the medical ailment claimed by the parent. Mike was recently awarded the 2016 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Texas Hero for Children Award.

 

 

 


Additional Content

Hope Ybarra Rolling Stone Article

APSAC Website

A Mother’s Tale Part 1

Season two, episode three of Just Science involves a case through the eyes of an investigator.  Mike Weber, an investigator with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in the Crimes Against Children Unit, walks us through a case involving Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. Munchausen Syndrome by proxy is a rare form of child or elderly abuse where a primary caretaker exaggerates or creates their victim’s symptoms of illnesses, in this case through manipulation, deceit, and forgery. Not much is known about this type of crime because it is so rarely recognized and so difficult to prosecute. Listen along as Investigator Weber navigates us through his journey to justice in this horrific case involving an abusive and attention crazed chemist, a poisoned child, and an investigator who wants justice.

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

Listen/Download at:
    Listen on Google Play Music
You can also find us on Stitcher or Soundcloud 

 


INVESTIGATOR MIKE WEBER—Investigator Michael Weber has been a law enforcement officer for 31 years. Investigator Weber retired from the Arlington Police Department in 2008 to accept a position as an Investigator with the Tarrant County (TX) District Attorney’s Office in the Crimes Against Children Unit where he currently assists prosecutors in preparation of cases for trial and actively investigates special circumstance cases involving child victims. Investigator Weber investigates all claims of Medical Child Abuse (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy) that are generated in Tarrant County and has investigated 16 such claims in his 7 years with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. These investigations have led to 5 convictions for Injury to a Child, 1 case that is currently being adjudicated, 1 case under active investigation, 1 investigation that was referred to an out of state agency where the injury (surgery) occurred, and 8 investigations where either there were no injuries that allowed for prosecution or where the child actually had the medical ailment claimed by the parent. Mike was recently awarded the 2016 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Texas Hero for Children Award.

 

 

 


Additional Content

Hope Ybarra Rolling Stone Article

APSAC Website

A Child’s Injustice

Season two, episode two of the Just Science podcast involves a case from Canada that Andrew Greenfield, Deputy Director of the Centre of Forensic Sciences, worked on when he was a young scientist. The gruesome murder of a child in 1999 in Toronto was unheard of and it dominated the air waves, and because of inaccurate witness statements describing the suspects, it was near impossible to generate leads for this case. Greenfield spoke up to one of his superiors about using a new DNA technology to help find a lead. We will be discussing with him outside the box thinking and DNA match probability, and what it means for justice.

This podcast contains violent and sometimes graphic content, this may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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Mel Hall – A Sexual Predator

For the second season of Just Science we will be delving into case studies. These case interviews include victim accounts, lawyers, investigators, and crime lab directors.  They will tell you about cases they have personally worked during their career, and what tactics they used to bring their victims justice.  Episode one is a case involving a former Yankee baseball player, Mel Hall, who was convicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. We phone interviewed the prosecutor of his case, Kim Davignon, and one of the victims Chaz Easterly. Just Science discusses with them victimology, and how to handle cases involving children who have experienced sexual assault.

This recording took place during the From Cradle to Cane Conference: Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims in Charleston, SC March of 2017.

If you are a victim of sexual assault or would like to talk to a trained advocate, there is a National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline you can call at 800.656.4673, or visit RAINN.ORG or Victimsofcrime.org.

Some content in this podcast is sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

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KIM D’AVIGNON, J.D., Assistant District Attorney, Tarrant County, Texas—Kim D’Avignon has been an Assistant Criminal District Attorney in Tarrant County, Texas for 15 years. She has worked in numerous sections at the TCDA’s Office including Narcotics, Family Violence, and Crimes Against Children. She is currently a Felony Court Chief. During her 8 years assigned to Crimes Against Children Unit, Kim tried dozens of cases involving the physical and sexual abuse of children as well as child homicides. She tried the Mel Hall case in 2009. Kim received her Law Degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2000. She is Board Certified in Criminal Law. Kim is also very involved in her community. She has been a volunteer at a grief camp for children, El Tesoro de la Vida, for 22 years as well as a volunteer at a bi-weekly grief center for children, the Warm Place, for 14 years. She remains in touch with many of the victims from the Mel Hall case.

 

 

 

CHAZ EASTERLY—Chaz Easterly has been married to her husband Stuart Easterly for 16 years. Her greatest accomplishment and joy is their three children, ages, 15, 13, and 11. Chaz is an entrepreneur and the Founder of Linen and Flax Home and L&F Home Design Firm. Chaz also started a ministry for middle and high school age girls that encourages and builds girls up in their faith, confidence, and self-worth. In her free time, you will see Chaz cheering on their 3 children in football, cheerleading and life from the sidelines. Chaz and her family reside in Atlanta, GA.

 

 

 

 

 


Additional Content:

SBNation article about Mel Hall case

From Cradle to Cane: Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims Brochure