LA Writers: Take a Crime Lab Tour from LAVA

CSI One of the hidden gems for crime writers in Los Angeles are the educational seminars at the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center at Cal State LA hosted by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA). The Crime Lab seminars are led by top criminologists and discuss real cases that have been tried in Los Angeles County. If you’re a crime writer there is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.Read more

Forensics 101: Industry Hills Sheraton 1996

The second presentation at the Cal State LA Crime Lab was Professor Donald Johnson’s crime scene reconstruction of the 1996 Industry Hills Sheraton incident. The case involved a woman who either fell or was thrown to her death from a hotel balcony. In November 1996, Sandra Orellana and her married boss Robert Salazar traveled from Houston on a business trip to Los Angeles, staying the night in the Industry Hills Sheraton Hotel. They were seen behaving affectionately towards each otherRead more

Lead Investigator Explains Tillman Case

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an educational event at the Cal State LA Crime Lab hosted by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association. It’s my third one, and I’m addicted. It’s like grad school without the student loans. I always learn more than I can process in one afternoon. The first presentation was by Michael I. Kelley, who outlined his investigation of the 2004 death of Army Ranger Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan. Kelley is an adjunct professor with theRead more

The Inside Scoop on the Phil Spector Case

On Sunday I visited the CSULA crime lab for an afternoon of workshops and lectures, courtesy of LA Esotouric. The speaker was Lynne Herold, senior criminologist for the LA Country Sheriff.  She most recently was an expert witness on the Phil Spector murder case, which is in Appeals right now. She gave us an in-depth, two hour lecture on the physical evidence presented in the case, and some stuff that didn’t even make it to trial. Here are some ofRead more