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Forensic science pioneer Henry C. Lee, PhD, to speak at Creighton

Henry C. Lee, PhDHenry C. Lee, PhD, one of the world’s most sought-after forensic scientists, will take part in a two-day series of events, April 10 and 11, at Creighton University as part of the University’s 14th Asian Culture Week, sponsored by the Asian World Center, the Creighton School of Law and the Omaha Bar Association.

Lee first came to prominence during the 1988 trial of Richard Crafts, a Connecticut man who murdered his wife, Helle, and disposed of her remains through a woodchipper. Through Lee’s painstaking forensic investigation, Crafts was the first person convicted of murder in Connecticut without the victim’s body as evidence. Lee subsequently provided investigations and expert testimony in the murder cases of JonBenét Ramsey and Laci Peterson, and also in the O.J. Simpson trial. He was also part of the forensic investigations in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Washington, D.C., sniper shootings of 2002 and the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.

From noon to 1:30 p.m., April 10, at the Creighton School of Law, Room 124, Lee will speak as part of a panel discussion on some of the cases with which he’s been involved. Weysan Dun, retired FBI special agent in charge of the Omaha field office and now a commissioner on the Nebraska Crime Commission, and Creighton law professors Ken Melilli and Collin Mangrum will join as panelists. This event is free and open to the public, though registration is requested by April 7. Register here.

Later that day in the School of Law commons, at 7:15 p.m., Lee will deliver a lecture, “Sharing My Life — Make Impossible Become Possible” about his experiences coming to the U.S. and creating a new life. A social hour at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will proceed the lecture. Register here for this event.

April 11, selected scenes from various documentaries focusing on Lee’s famous forensic cases will be shown from noon to 6 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center ballroom. A conversation between Lee and Weysan Dun will take place from noon to 2 p.m. This event is also free and open to the public.

Born in 1938 in Rugao, in eastern China, Lee and his family fled to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War. In Taiwan, Lee worked as an officer for the Taipei Police Department and earned the rank of captain at the age of 22. Lee emigrated to the United States in 1965 and earned a doctorate in biochemistry from New York University in 1975. That same year, Lee joined the faculty of the University of New Haven, where he created the school’s first forensic sciences program. He is currently a Distinguished Chair Professor in Forensic Science, vice president of global affairs and director of the Forensic Research and Training Center at the University of New Haven.

Author of more than 25 textbooks, Lee has also written hundreds of journal articles and delivered lectures far and wide. Lee earned the 1996 Medal of Justice from the Justice Foundation, the Distinguished Criminalist Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the J. Donero Award from the International Association of Identification. In 1992, he was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the AAFS.

This event is supported in part by the University Committee on Lectures, Films, and Concerts, and the University Non-Western Studies Committee.

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