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Captain guest speaker at Forensic Meeting

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Date: February 15th, 2006

From: Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office

Re: Derrick Todd Lee South Louisiana Serial Killer Workshop to be presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting on February 20, 2006 in Seattle, WA

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is one of the world's largest and most renowned organizations of forensic scientists, with nearly 6,000 members in 57 countries. The annual meeting involves presentation of scientific papers and workshops designed to keep forensic scientists on the cutting edge of solving crime. One such workshop at this year's meeting involves a very complex, multifaceted investigation, which culminated in the apprehension and conviction of a serial killer. The experts involved in the case, including an investigator, several scientists, the profiler and legal experts, will come together to share their expertise and learning experiences, in the hopes of educating attendees so they can solve similar crimes more efficiently in their home jurisdictions.

In 2002 and 2003, murders of six victims were linked to a single assailant in Southern Louisiana. Multiple agencies were involved in the investigation and eventual prosecution of the cases, culminating in the death penalty sentence of Derrick Todd Lee in 2004. The hunt for the serial killer generated considerable media coverage, and resulted in wide sweeping effects to policy, legislation and funding. A variety of approaches were taken in the forensic investigation and prosecution of the crimes, including a blending of new technologies and trusted older techniques. The investigative use of databases generated unique leads when applied to the field of physical matching and comparison. A variety of DNA analytical methods, techniques, and applications were employed to link crimes together, eliminate suspects, implicate Lee, and bring novel investigative information to the serial killer task force, including racial determination.

The forensic community will benefit by learning the keys to success, and avoiding the pitfalls, in large, multidiscipline, multiple murder investigations. Techniques learned will be immediately employable by forensic scientists, investigators and administrators in their own jurisdictions and casework. The forensic community and society as a whole will benefit through protection of individuals' rights by rapid exoneration of innocent suspects, the increased public safety resulting from early apprehension of serial predators, and the reduced-cost benefit of an effective investigation using the latest technology.


Presentations, presenters, and contact information:

Investigative Aspects of the South Louisiana Serial Killer Case: Kip Judice, Captain, Patrol Division, Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, (337) 232-9211

Serial Killings in Baton Rouge: Natasha Higgs Poe, Forensic DNA Analyst, Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, Baton Rouge, (225) 925-6216

Linking Serial Cases Using Trace/LCN DNA: Carolyn L. Booker, Forensic Biologist, Acadiana Crime Lab, (337) 365-6671

Investigative Uses of DNA Databases: George J. Schiro, DNA Technical Leader, Acadiana Crime Lab, (337) 365-6671

Use of SNPs to Provide Investigative Assistance Including Racial Determination: Matthew J. Thomas, Ph.D, Senior Scientist, DNAprint Genomics, (941) 366-3400

Psychological Profiling of the South Louisiana Serial Killer: Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD,
Criminal Investigative Analyst, FBI, (703) 632-4341

Use of Y-STR DNA in Solving Forensic Cases: Sudhir Sinha, Ph.D, President and Laboratory Director, ReliaGene Technologies, (540) 734-9700

Use of Physical Matching and Comparison to Link and Solve Serial Crimes: Mark Kurowski, Forensic Chemist, Acadiana Crime Lab, (337) 365-6671

The Role of the Media in Cases of Major Crime: Ray A. Wickenheiser, Director of Operations, Orchid Cellmark Inc, Dallas, (214) 271-8406

Prosecution of the South Louisiana Serial Killer: Dana J. Cummings, JD, Assistant District Attorney, East Baton Rouge Parish DA's Office, (225) 389-3438

Policy, Legislative, and Funding Impacts of the Serial Killer Case: Tammy Pruet Northrup, JD, Crime Lab Manager DNA, Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, Baton Rouge, (225) 925-6216

The Potential Use of Databases in Solving Cases of Major Crime: Ray A. Wickenheiser, Director of Operations, Orchid Cellmark Inc, Dallas, (214) 271-8406


Lt. Craig Stansbury
Public Information Officer
Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office
337-236-5876