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Wecht Institute Marks 10th Anniversary by Exploring the State of Forensic Death Investigation

The Cyril H. Wecht Institute will mark its 10th anniversary with Cause of Death: An Interdisciplinary Look at the State of Forensic Death Investigation, its annual symposium during which experts and scholars from the field will discuss relevant developments, issues and strategies used to investigate and determine sudden, suspicious and/or medically unattended deaths.

“We’re very excited about taking on this topic, especially at this time,” said Dr. Fred Fochtman, director of the Wecht Institute. “Not only is death investigation at the heart of what so many of the forensic sciences are all about, but to host a conference on the occasion of our 10th anniversary focusing on Cyril Wecht’s own profession seemed very fitting.”

Among the topics examined during Cause of Death are the investigation of fatal crime scenes; the role of coroner vs. medical examiner; forensic toxicology; prosecuting homicides in the “CSI” era; homicide cold case investigations; and psychological factors and behavioral evidence.

Featured speakers and presenters at Cause of Death include:

  • Sarah V. Hart, deputy district attorney and chief of the Division of Performance and Policy for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and former director of the National Institute of Justice
  • Dr. Henry Lee, chief emeritus of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety’s Division of Scientific Services
  • Lowell Levine, director of operations for the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center
  • Michael J. Machen, chief public defender for Allegheny County.

Cause of Death: An Interdisciplinary Look at the State of Forensic Death Investigation will be held on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Power Center Ballroom at Duquesne University.

Visit www.duq.edu/cause-of-death, email wechtinstitute@duq.edu or call 412.396.1330 for more information.

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.