URI’s Forensic Science Seminar Feb. 29

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Woonsocket detective to discuss serial killer case


KINGSTON, R.I. – February 25, 2008 — Gerard Durand, a forensic detective with the Woonsocket Police Department, will speak Friday, Feb. 29, at the University of Rhode Island about the department’s investigation and apprehension of a serial killer.

Free and open to the public, the talk titled “Serial Murder Scene—It CAN Happen to You,” will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 124 of Pastore Hall, 51 Lower College Road.

Durand will address what happens when the crime scene changes from an assault investigation to a serial murder involving three dismembered victims. The lecture will chronicle how a relatively small police department handled the case, from the way the scenes were processed, to the recovery of some remains from the landfill, as well as the cooperation between different agencies.

Extensive crime scene photographs as well as the killer’s videotaped confession will be shown.

The talk is based on the arrest and conviction of Jeffrey S. Mailhot of Woonsocket in 2006. He was sentenced to the equivalent of two life sentences for three murders, as well as 10 years for two assaults.

Durand is a 19-year veteran of the Woonsocket Police Department, and has been with its forensic unit for the past 10 years. Since 2001 Durand has been an instructor for the University of Rhode Island course: Criminal Investigation: Scientific Evidence, which is sponsored by the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory, for law enforcement officers, teaching crime scene photography.