University News

Forensics Exhibits, Lectures at WIU Physical Sciences Library

April 10, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - A forensics exhibit, including many unique items relevant to forensic science and crime scene investigation, is on exhibit through Friday, May 30 in the Western Illinois University Physical Sciences Library, located in the round annex of Currens Hall (Room 201) on Western Ave.

In addition to the exhibit, the Physical Sciences Library will host several short programs focusing on different areas of forensics.

Patricia Anderson, a forensic anthropologist at Western, will moderate a discussion of prosecution and forensic anthropology with two respected experts from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 in Morgan Hall Room 324. Thomas H. Miller, Iowa's deputy attorney general, has prosecuted more than 50 murder cases. He will discuss three cases and expert testimony of forensic anthropologists used for these cases. Charles W. Larson Sr., retired U.S. Attorney Northern District of Iowa, who also served as senior adviser to the American ambassador in Baghdad, will discuss the Saddam Hussein case; the mass genocide of 180,000 Kurds; the process used to locate more than 300 mass graves; and how evidence found in these graves is collected and reported.

Kim McClure, a forensic psychologist at Western, will present "Forensic Psychology – Psychology and Law: Preserving Eyewitness Evidence," at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 17. She will describe the interface between psychology and the justice system and provide an overview of the federal guidelines for handling eyewitness evidence.

Darrell Ross, professor and chair of Western's law enforcement and justice administration (LEJA) department, will give a presentation on blood spatter at 2 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30. Ross, the author of the forensics science and medicine book "Sudden Deaths in Custody," regularly testifies in court as an expert witness. Prior to coming to Western in 2006, Ross served for 14 years as director of the forensics science program at Eastern Carolina University.

Items and information included in the forensics exhibit have been contributed by Larry Jameson, McDonough County Coroner; Sgt. John Carson, McDonough County Sheriff's Office; Captain Chris Jagielo, WIU Office of Public Safety; Chemistry Department Chair and Professor Rose McConnell, Professor Lisa Wen, Associate Professor Jack Huang and Assistant Professor Xiaoping Pan; Psychology Department Chair and Professor Virginia Diehl, Associate Professor Matt Blankenship, Laboratory Animal Care Technician II Butch Smith and McClure; Ross, LEJA; and Anderson, sociology and anthropology.

The exhibit and programs are open free to the public. Check the WIU University Libraries website,, for additional programs that are being planned.

The Physical Sciences Library is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, during finals week the library will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 3 and from noon-8 p.m. Sunday, May 4.

For more information, contact Kathleen Clauson, Physical Science Library unit coordinator, 309/298-1407, or e-mail

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