Event #1: Saturday, April 16, 12-4pm – Esotouric presents “The Real Black Dahlia” crime bus tour (departs from The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071, $58/person)
Event #2: Sunday, April 17, 2-6pm – Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA and Esotouric, presents a fundraiser lecture/tour benefiting the CSULA Criminalistics graduate department “TRACE: inside the world of Lynne Herold, Criminalist” (at The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center at Cal State L.A., 1800 Paseo Rancho Castilla, Los Angeles, CA 90032, $36.50/person)
LOS ANGELES- There’s just something special about the notorious crimes of Los Angeles, the way they resonate in the American consciousness, and continue to fascinate years after the fact. In April, LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, dedicates a weekend to uncovering the reality behind two of the city’s most compelling and poorly understood murder stories: the unsolved 1947 Black Dahlia mystery and the adjudicated but-still-controversial Phil Spector murder trial.
These two remarkable events – Esotouric’s historic bus tour following in the footsteps of Black Dahlia murder victim Elizabeth Short, and a crime lab tour and lecture featuring L.A. Sheriff’s Department Senior Criminalist Lynne Herold revealing her methods and discoveries while analyzing the Phil Spector crime scene evidence — offer an opportunity to get behind the headlines and the hype and explore fascinating true crime cases with a depth and seriousness rarely offered to the public. This LAVA weekend is a must for intelligent crime aficionados and those with a passion for the untold stories of Los Angeles.
About Esotouric’s Real Black Dahlia Tour:
On April 16, Esotouric, L.A.’s most eclectic and thoughtful bus tour company, offers its most popular crime bus tour, THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA. Since January 1947, this one iconic murder mystery has lingered unsolved at the forefront of the American imagination, with dozens of books, films and websites dedicated to solving the slaying of Beth Short, the Massachusetts girl who came to Hollywood hoping to make it, and ended up cut in two in a vacant lot. The tour dedicates itself to revealing who victim Elizabeth Short really was by exploring her life in Los Angeles from mid 1946 to her January 1947 murder through examination of the police investigation and news coverage. The various whodunnit theories are up for discussion, but the focus is firmly on the 22-year-old woman whose death continues to fascinate. Along the way, passengers will explore the social history of postwar Los Angeles and its lively downtown scene and learn the role the city played in Short’s mysterious death. Passengers on this eye-opening and informative tour will leave with a new understanding of the Black Dahlia case and what it was like to be a single woman in 1940s Los Angeles.
About Lynne Herold’s “Trace” Lecture:
The April 17 event “TRACE: inside the world of Lynne Herold, Criminalist” is a fundraiser for the Criminalistics graduate department at Cal State L.A. “TRACE” is an exploration of the scientific investigation of major crimes, revealed through methods of trace evidence analysis and select case histories. Attendees will also have an opportunity to tour Cal State LA’s state-of the-art teaching and research facilities in the Criminalistics Department of the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. “TRACE” consists of three lectures by LASD Senior Criminalist Lynne Herold and three breakout scientific workshops presented by Criminalistics graduate students. Lecture #1 is Lynne Herold’s personal introduction to her life and work, entitled “My World and Welcome To It.” Lecture #2 explores the use of blood stain patterns in the analysis of complex crime scenes. Lecture #3 is a case history of the Phil Spector /Lana Clarkson murder investigation, for which Lynne Herold did the trace evidence analyses which resulted in Spector’s conviction in his second murder trial. The scientific workshop topics include blood spatter re-creation and analysis, the magic of Mylar and static electricity, and insights into hair/fiber analysis. By the program’s conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of the real work that’s done by a senior LASD criminalist, and the tools and techniques used to interpret crime scenes for the benefit of investigating officers and juries. Come discover the reality, which is so different from and so much more interesting than what you’ve seen on TV.
Dr. Lynne Herold, Ph.D. is a Senior Criminalist in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Scientific Services Bureau. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Kent State University in 1974, and her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from USC in 1984. Over the past two decades, Dr. Herold has been involved in hundreds of “high profile” cases, and has been instrumental in the successful prosecution of scores of murder and serial murder cases. In 2003, Dr. Herold was assigned to the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, whose name has been largely overshadowed by the celebrity status of her accused killer, record producer Phil Spector. Dr. Herold devoted in excess of 1000 hours of work to the case, which went to trial in 2007. Dr. Herold’s examination of the physical evidence in this case was technical, detailed, exhaustive and her conclusions compelling.
Additionally, she was able to advise prosecutors as to areas in which the testimony of “hired gun” defense experts Dr. Henry Lee and Dr. Michael Baden could be impeached. Dr. Herold’s testimony, which lasted for five days before the eyes of the world via live television, was a textbook illustration of effective courtroom preparation and presentation. Although the 2007 trial ended in a mistrial (10 to 2 for guilt), jurors who were interviewed stated that her testimony was so well presented, they completely discounted the testimony of defense experts. In his second trial in 2009, Phil Spector was convicted of the murder of Lana Clarkson and sentenced to 19 years to life. In 2008, Dr. Herold was honored as the California Homicide Investigators’ Association Support Person of the Year.
Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA’s creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER — proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land) — LAVA brings together L.A.’s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers.
To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org
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