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REF NO.: 162

SUBJECT: Noted anthropologist and homicide expert to explore crime scene investigation process
DATE: Feb. 25, 2004

Note to editors:

If the ratings for such TV police dramas as CSI and NCIS are any indication, there's a big fascination out there for crime scene investigation practices. But do the investigation procedures depicted on those shows bear any resemblance to reality?

CSI and NCIS fans and other amateur criminologists will have the opportunity to find out on Tuesday, March 9, at 7:45 p.m. when Memorial professor Dr. Elliott Leyton, world renowned researcher on serial killings and author of the international bestseller, Hunting Humans, presents a public lecture titled, CSI St. John's: Myth and Reality of Criminal Investigation Procedures. The lecture will take place in the D.F. Cook Recital Hall, located in the Music Building on Memorial's St. John's campus.

Dr. Leyton's presentation will feature portions of an episode of CSI to provide a comparison for what takes place on TV and what transpires in real life.

"People are always fascinated by anything that violates our most sacred taboos," Dr. Leyton noted. "And what could do so more than murder?"

"I'll try to de-glamorize murder and murderers, show how statistically rare murder is, and how the over-emphasis on sensational murder turns our attention away from the major sources of crime."

Dr. Leyton is perhaps Newfoundland and Labrador's best known anthropologist. He is consulted internationally for his expertise on the phenomenon of serial killings. He has lectured on homicide at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police College in Ottawa, and has been a visiting scholar at the FBI Academy in the United States. In 1993/94, he became the only independent scholar ever granted his own office and carte blanche with British homicide files at New Scotland Yard, the home of the London metropolitan police.

A two-hour National Film Board film about his life's work has been shown at film festivals in France, Montreal, Halifax and St. John's, and recently aired on national television as a two-part mini-series on David Suzuki's, The Nature of Things.

"All I've tried to do throughout my career is to talk seriously about a very serious subject, but do so in a literary style that makes my commentary accessible to the informed general reader," Dr. Leyton said.

Dr. Leyton will be available after his presentation to talk about his research and to autograph books.

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