Symes joins Lee, Baden and Spitz at
annual death investigation forum

The Medicolegal Investigation of Death Seminar, now in its 34th year, is an educational forum headlined by experts in death investigation from around the nation; this year among them is Mercyhurst College forensic anthropologist Dr. Steven Symes.

Best known for his expertise in interpreting trauma to bone and a leading authority on saw and knife mark analysis, Symes will deliver a two-hour lecture on his specialty during the April 21-23 program hosted by the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Dearborn, Mich.

Other invited faculty include legendary investigator Dr. Henry Lee, who has assisted in the investigations of more than 6,000 cases, including war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia, the review of the JFK assassination and the death of JonBennet Ramsey; Dr. Michael Baden, a Fox News contributor for forensic science who has  been involved in many cases and trials of international interest, including Claus Von Bulow, O.J. Simpson, Medgar Evers and Robert Blake; and Dr. Werner Spitz, who served on the House Committee on Assassinations, investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He also served as an expert in many national cases including the California Night Stalker, Mary Jo Koepeckne, JonBennet Ramsey and O.J. Simpson.

Symes has assisted federal, state, local, and international authorities in the identification and analysis of human remains, many from high-profile human rights cases. He was instrumental in identifying the remains of the Pebco Three, three black South African anti-apartheid activists who were abducted and murdered by South African Security Police. His work has taken him to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where he helped to identify the remains of dozens of women among the hundreds murdered in that border town since 1993. An expert in criminal dismemberment and mutilation, Symes provides frequent court testimony. Of recent note is his testimony in the trial of Gerald Robinson, a Catholic priest from Toledo, Ohio, convicted in 2006 of murdering a nun nearly 30 years prior.

The annual for-credit seminar provides valuable training for individuals involved with death investigations: homicide investigators, criminalists, emergency medical service providers, evidence technicians, attorneys, prosecutors, medical examiners, coroners, traffic accident investigators, insurance adjusters, forensic nurses, clinical legal nurse consultants, private investigators and criminal justice professionals.

Release date: April 8, 2010


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