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Analyze DNA, Match Fibers at Hands-On Forensic 'Crime Scene'

If you’ve ever wondered what crime scene investigations are like, you have a hands-on opportunity this weekend at CSI: Pittsburgh, a special event for Carnegie Science Center visitors.

Experts, including faculty and students at Duquesne University’s Cyril H. Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law, are partnering in the project to share their know-how throughout the weekend, bringing the skills of a former homicide detective and a presentation on the criminal mind, based on interviews with a serial killer.

The events are included in regular admission to the Carnegie Science Center on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19. A mock crime scene depicting a robbery will be set up in the main lobby of the Science Center, providing the chance to note tool marks, match hair and fibers, collect fingerprints, extract DNA, learn about bloodstain patterns and match teeth impressions. 

Activities are geared mainly toward children, but a half-hour talk at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday by Duquesne forensics student Lyndsie Schantz will offer insights into the criminal mind. Schantz was one of the student leaders in a class that interviewed Keith Hunter Jesperson, who is serving three life sentences in Oregon for murdering at least eight women in six states in the 1990s.

Ron Freeman, a Duquesne forensics instructor with 34 years on Pittsburgh homicide who arranged the interviews with Jesperson, will be among the Duquesne faculty participating in the event. The City of Pittsburgh’s Mobile Crime Unit also will be at the scene with tools used in the field by investigators.

For more information on the event, visit www.carnegiesciencecenter.org.
For more information on the forensics program at Duquesne, stop at the table at the science center or visit www.forensics.duq.edu.

Besides the Wecht Institute, partners for the event include WSHH 99.7 FM and KDKA-TV.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.