Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

‘Whitey’ Bulger trial witness to lead off URI’S Forensic Science Seminar Series, Friday, Sept. 13

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Other seminar topics include neurosyphilis, bio-crime fiction


KINGSTON, R.I. – September 10, 2013 –A retired FBI agent who testified in the recently concluded trial of James “Whitey” Bulger will be the first speaker at this year’s Forensic Science Partnership Seminar Series at the University of Rhode Island.

The seminar gives students, faculty, and the public a chance to delve into the world of crime, allowing them to uncover the secrets behind forensic science. Lectures will be presented every Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Pastore Hall, Room 124, 51 Lower College Road, Kingston. All are free and open to the public.

The complete schedule is as follows:

• Sept. 13, Robert Fitzpatrick, retired FBI agent who worked the James “Whitey” Bulger case, “Post Mortem on the Whitey Bulger Trial.” In fall 2011, Fitzpatrick first spoke as part of the seminar series, telling the audience about his efforts to clean up the Boston FBI operation and to dig into its relationship with Bulger. Bulger was convicted in August on racketeering and conspiracy charges by a Boston jury that found he was involved in 11 murders and numerous other crimes. Fitzpatrick detailed his Boston odyssey in a book co-authored with Jon Land, Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down.

• Sept. 20, Cyril Wecht, retired Pennsylvania state coroner, forensic pathologist, attorney, author, medical-legal and forensic science consultant. Wecht has preformed approximately 18,000 autopsies and reviewed or consulted on approximately 38,000 post-mortem examinations. “Interesting Case Studies.”

• Sept. 27, Elizabeth Trendowski, liquor liability and dram shop expert and Michael McCabe, toxicology expert, of Robson Forensics. Robson Forensics, Inc. is a forensic engineering firm that provides technical expertise, expert testimony and scientific investigation to the legal profession and the insurance industry. “The Dram Shop Case (Alcohol).”

• Oct. 4, Debbie Surabian, state soil scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Soil Characteristics that Impact Clandestine Graves & the Use of Ground Penetrating Radar.”

• Oct.11, Daniel Greenfield, Seton Hall University, “Beyond Sherlock Holmes and into the Courtroom: A Curious Case of Neurosyphilis.”

• Oct. 18, Neal Langerman of Advanced Chemical-Safety. Founded by Langerman, the firm is specifically dedicated to the prevention of workplace injuries, illnesses and environmental damage. “Quo Vadis: Laboratory Safety after UCLA.”

• Oct. 25, Peter Hefferan, U.S. Army, Picatinny Arsenal, Rockaway Township, N.J., “History of Black Powder.”

• Nov. 1, Lauren Hannon, who holds a master’s degree in forensic science from Boston University and who has worked as a forensic anthropologist at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, “Forensic Anthropology.”

• Nov. 8, Shawn Dolan, Forensic Consulting, “Fingerprint Analysis.

• ”Nov. 15, Joan Mead, a Rhode Island author, “Microbial Forensics in BioCrime Fiction.”

• Nov. 22, Michael Sigman of the National Center of Forensic Science, University of Central Florida, “Forensic Research and Analysis of Smokeless Powder.”

• Dec. 6, Kenneth Martin, retired Massachusetts State Police trooper, “Crime Scene Processing.”

This release was written by Caitlin Musselman, a URI Communcations and Marketing intern and a public relations and political science major.