1/20, LA: Arson Murders and Fire Death Investigation lecture
- WHAT: Cal State Los Angeles Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA The Los Angeles Visionaries Association and Esotouric, present a new lecture / demo in the ongoing crime lab series, "Arson Murders and Fire Death Investigation" hosted by Ed Nordskog, co-lead investigator in the New Years 2012 Hollywood arson spree
WHEN: Sunday, January 20, 12:00pm-4:00pm
WHERE: The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center (Cal State L.A.), 1800 Paseo Rancho Castilla, Los Angeles, CA 90032
COST: $36.50 per person, includes refreshments. A portion of the proceeds from this event supports the research of Criminalistics graduate students at Cal State Los Angeles.
ED NORDSKOG'S BOOK: Copies of "TORCHERED" MINDS will be available for purchase at the event, $20 cash only. More info at http://www.torcheredminds.com
RESTRICTIONS: Due to the graphic nature of the presentation, children may not attend.
PHOTOS: To see images from a previous crime lab workshop, visit http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabpics
NEXT EVENT: On April 21, LAVA presents "Insights in Criminal Investigation and the Secret World of Street Gangs" with LASD Team Leader and educator Nick Guskos. For info, see http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabapril21
INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabjan20 or call 213-373-1947
LOS ANGELES- The City of Angels spent the 2011-2012 New Years holiday in a state of fear, as a serial arsonist roamed the darkened streets, igniting dozens of cars, carports and nearby buildings. To the relief of millions, suspect Harry Burkhart was quickly arrested, there were no fatalities, and the spree ended. What makes someone set fire to cars and buildings? What twisted line of thinking drives an otherwise nondescript citizen to endanger the lives of strangers? While he won't be speaking about this open case, on January 20 you can join Ed Nordskog, co-lead investigator on the Hollywood arson spree, for a fascinating afternoon of exploring "Arson Murders and Fire Death Investigation," an in-depth presentation drawing on his own casework and notorious, high profile cases. This all new program is a follow up to Ed's sold out March 2012 presentation in the LAVA crime lab.
Turn on the TV today and odds are good you'll see white lab coats, DNA swabs and magnified fingerprints on computer screens. CSI is hot stuff, in fictional series ("NCIS: Los Angeles," "Bones," "Dexter," "CSI") and documentary programming. But it's not often that the general public gets a chance to tour a real crime lab with the forensic investigators and educators who use its tools to solve crimes and develop new research strategies.
Leave it to LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association), the creative consortium helmed by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the married couple whose Esotouric bus adventures have transformed the guided tour experience, to make a real-life CSI experience accessible to interested laypersons. Working closely with one of LAVA's most intriguing Visionary members, Professor Donald Johnson, they've developed a series of events highlighting the work conducted at Cal State L.A.'s state-of-the-art Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, presented through tours and short lectures from the scientist/educators and graduate students who work there.
Since the program launched in October 2010, LAVA's popular lectures and tours in the CSULA crime lab have included presentations on Phil Spector trial trace evidence, the Patrick Tillman death investigation in Afghanistan, a comparison of the 1950s Harvey Glatman case with the 1995 murder of Linda Sobek, the use of dental records to identify mass disaster victims, and more.
A portion of the proceeds from this event supports the research of Criminalistics graduate students at Cal State Los Angeles. Space is very limited and pre-reservation recommended for this rare opportunity to tour the crime lab, learn from experienced forensic investigators and educators, and discover the real art and science of crime scene investigation.
"Arson Murders and Fire Death Investigation" is hosted by Ed Nordskog, an active arson/bomb detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and is a half-day exploration of the scientific investigation of fire-related felony offenses, revealed through methods of evidence analysis, profiling and select case histories. Attendees will also have an opportunity to tour Cal State LA's state-of the-art teaching and research facilities in the Criminalistics Department of the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.
This program will explore the extraordinary challenges of dealing with fire death investigations. The destructive effects of fire and fire department suppression operations greatly skew an already complicated death scene. In addition to an in-depth a discussion of the Sandi Nieves case (Santa Clarity resident convicted of asphyxiating her four daughters in their home in 1998, then staging a fire to obscure her crime), the program includes discussion of body dumps and staged suicides involving fire.
The presentation consists of two lectures from Ed Nordskog, with a related breakout scientific workshop offering illustration of the concepts raised by the lectures. Following the second lecture, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase copies of Ed Nordskog's book "'Torchered' Minds: Case Histories of Notorious Serial Arsonists."
By the afternoon's conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the real work that's done in the field by arson investigators, and the tools and techniques used to interpret crime scenes for the benefit of investigating officers and juries.
ABOUT ED NORDSKOG: Ed Nordskog is an active arson/bomb detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He has been a detective since 1990, working specifically in the arson and explosives world since 1997. He has conducted over sixteen hundred fire investigations and as of this writing has personally arrested and interviewed over 250 persons who were convicted of fire setting and related crimes. He has testified in court as a recognized expert in this field on over fifty-five occasions. He has been consulted by prosecuting attorneys on death penalty cases involving arson and murder on three occasions. He has been personally involved in over twenty serial arson investigations. The author has a master's degree in emergency services management and is certified as a fire investigator by the California State Fire Marshal and the California Conference of Arson Investigators. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Arson Investigation Course, the ATF Advanced Arson Investigation Course, the Forensic Fire Death Investigation Course, and numerous other arson investigation courses. He is involved in course development and teaches fire scene investigation, major arson case investigation, serial arson investigation, and arson murder/fire death investigation. He is a course developer and instructor for the state of California's Arson and Explosives Investigation Course. He is an instructor for the state of California's Homicide Investigator's Course. In 2004, the author was named Arson Investigator of the Year by the International Association of Arson Investigators and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the International Association of Special Investigations Units; both of these awards are for his work as the lead investigator on a massive arson for hire scheme, involving fifty-five burned properties. He has received over eighty-five commendations, awards, and medals throughout his law enforcement career related to successful criminal investigations. He is author of the book "'Torchered' Minds: Case Histories of Notorious Serial Arsonists" (http://www.torcheredminds.com).
ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA's creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPERproprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land)LAVA brings together L.A.'s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, memoirist BARBARA KRAFT, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, Novelist DAVID ROCKLIN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, educator and historic cemetery board member DWAIN CARLO CRUM, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, curator JULIE RICO, cultural curator and writer KIM OHANNESON, "Kristin's List" cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D'AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, writer MARGUERITE DARLINGTON, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO'A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, activist and performer RD PLASSCHAERT, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON.
Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/apply
To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org