Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee visits Lauralton 

"There are tens of thousands of professions in this world. Every profession is unique. Every profession needs a few who are the best, who can develop and improve that profession. Why not pick an area within your limits, then set the goal of no limit for that profession. Within that area you choose, choose to strive for the best." – Dr. Henry C. Lee

Lauralton’s forensic students recently had an exciting visit from a world renowned guest speaker, Dr. Henry Lee. The legendary forensic scientist gave an inspiring presentation that expanded their interest in the world of forensics, regaling them with stories from several of his cases including war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia, the suicide of Vince Foster, President Clinton's former White House attorney and the JFK assassination.

For more than 40 years, Dr. Lee has investigated more than 8,000 cases—even solving a murder without a body. He was pivotal in establishing a modern state police communication system, the community based police services sex offender and DNA databank, major crime investigation concepts and he created the Forensic Sciences program at the University of New Haven. Dr. Lee’s testimony figured prominently in the O. J. Simpson, Jason Williams, Peterson, and Kennedy Smith Trials; and in convictions of the “Woodchipper” murderer. He was also a consultant for more than 800 law enforcement agencies.

“Dr. Lee was incredible,” said forensic science teacher Jennifer Shea. “His talk ranged from motivational anecdotes to comprehensive descriptions of actual criminal cases. He incorporated details such as DNA analysis techniques and he illuminated “real world” forensics in a way that was humorous, informative and inspiring.”

Outlining why it’s important for high school students to study forensics, Dr. Lee said, “Forensics helps students see the practical use of sciences. Abstract formulas can be difficult for young people to grasp and get excited about, but when they can see real life applications such as understanding how the trajectory of a bullet can help us solve a crime and help bring families resolution, it makes the science more meaningful to them. I encourage students to pursue a career in forensics because it is not only an exciting career path with many options, it is a field where you can prevent further crimes—where you truly can make a huge difference.” 

Shea Dolan, ’13 agrees. “I think forensics is a cool field to study because it combines all of the sciences and it helps bring justice to the world.  My grandfather worked with Dr. Lee on several cases and has travelled with him to China. Dr. Lee is not only an amazing scientist, but he knows how to explain forensics in a way that teens can relate to, so I was very excited when he agreed to come speak at Lauralton.   love watching shows like CSI, but Dr. Lee helped us realize that real forensics isn’t as easy as they make it seem on TV. (He told us never to wear tight pants like they do on CSI—too impractical!). CSI makes forensics look glamorous, but in reality it involves doing a lot of grudge work like sorting through the trash. I hope to pursue a degree in forensic nursing which is a cross between anatomy and biology.”

Ms. Shea concluded, “It was an absolute pleasure and honor to have Dr. Lee visit Lauralton. We hope he will return again soon.”

 

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