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2013 News Releases

Nationally prominent forensic entomologist to give Longwood talk on Oct. 21

October 8, 2013

Dr. Joe Keiper
Dr. Joe Keiper

A Longwood University lecture will be given by a nationally prominent forensic entomologist who has assisted high-profile criminal investigations. The public is invited to attend.

Dr. Joe Keiper, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH), will speak Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in Hull 132 on "Forensic Entomology: The Biology of Crime Scene First Responders." Keiper has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of only 20 or so forensic entomologists in the country who are able to help investigators determine when a person died based on the life cycle of the bugs found on the body."

Keiper will discuss how clues provided by insects can be used in investigations of human death under mysterious or suspicious circumstances. He will discuss case studies, including his recent work on the case involving three bodies found in July near the Cleveland home of the man, Michael Madison, who has been charged with their murders.

Keiper has since 2001 helped investigators in dozens of cases including homicides, suicides and accidents in which victim discovery is delayed. One case involved the so-called "Cleveland Strangler," Anthony Sowell, convicted of murdering 11 women whose remains were found in the back yard of his home in 2009.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice; the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences; and the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Brian Bates, associate professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, is a member of the board of trustees of the VMNH, located in Martinsville.