The opioid crisis, a major R.I. criminal trial, the Pony Express among topics of URI’s fall Forensic Science Seminar Series

Posted on

KINGSTON, R.I.- September 8, 2017- The opioid crisis in the United States, an investigation at the University of Rhode Island into the weapon allegedly used in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and an inside look at Rhode Island’s longest and most costly criminal trial in state history, the Bonded Vault trial, are among the topics that will be explored during the University’s fall Forensic Science Seminar Series.

The series brings leading figures in several forensic science specialties to URI, and is free and open to the public.

While the series in its entirety will cover a wide range of topics, Director of the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory Dennis Hilliard is looking forward to the Oct. 27 lecture being delivered by author Jack Levin. “Many students are interested in the psychology of mass murderers and serial killers and the ‘how and why’ that motivates them,” Hilliard said. “I am looking forward to this year’s lecture series as an opportunity to bring the new criminology and criminal justice department with their faculty and staff into the Forensic Science Partnership and to get their students involved in the seminar series.”

The lectures will be held Fridays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in URI’s Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, 140 Flagg Road, Room 105.

The series speakers and their topics are as follows:

Friday, Sept. 8, Dennis Hilliard, director of the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island and adjunct professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, “CSI at URI”

Friday, Sept. 15, Eric Gahagan, retiree of the Massachusetts Bomb Squad with the Massachusetts State Police, “Extreme Forensics”

Friday, Sept. 22, Priya Banerjee, Rhode Island medical examiner, “Overview of Death Investigation and Forensic Pathology”

Friday, Sept. 29, Ken Zeroie of the Connecticut State Crime Laboratory, “The Crime Scene: Where Forensic Science Starts”

Friday, Oct. 6, Sean Boyce, United States Postal inspector, “The Pony Express”

Friday, Oct. 13, Dan Sendroff, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement senior special agent, “Facial Recognition and Machine-readable Zone of Identity Documents”

Friday, Oct. 20, Robert Hathaway, retiree of the Rhode Island State Crime Lab, “Firearms and Tool Marks: The Martin Luther King Jr. Case”

Friday, Oct. 27, author Jack Levin, “Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder”

Friday, Nov. 3, Ray Handel, Uniformed Services University, “Clinical Consequences from Exposure to Chemical Explosives”

Friday, Nov. 10, Dan Greenfield, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “The Great American Opioid Explosion”

Friday, Nov. 17, Steven Medeiros of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, “A day in the life of an FBI Agent”

Friday, Dec. 1, Thomas Blackwell of the Drug Enforcement Agency, “The Fentanyl Tale”

Friday, Dec. 8, Tim White, WPRI Investigative Reporter, “Organized Crime in New England and the Great Bonded Vault Heist”

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.