Sunday, May 6, 2012

Trace the evolution of 20th Century crime scene investigation with LAVA's killer photographers seminar

No idea who he is but this sounds cool. I will not be there though.

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Subject: [Explosivepr1] Trace the evolution of 20th Century crime scene
investigation with LAVA's killer photographers seminar

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May 3, 2012

Trace the evolution of 20th Century crime scene investigation with LAVA's
killer photographers seminar

WHAT: Cal State Los Angeles Professor Donald Johnson, in association with
LAVA ­ The Los Angeles Visionaries Association and Esotouric, present a new
lecture / demo in the ongoing crime lab series, "The Killer Behind The
Camera" focusing on the 1950s Harvey Glatman murders and the 1995 Linda
Sobek murder
WHEN: Sunday, June 3, 12:00pm-4:00pm
WHERE: The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center (Cal State L.A.), 1800
Paseo Rancho Castilla, Los Angeles, CA 90032
COST: $36.50 per person, includes refreshments
RESTRICTIONS: Due to the graphic nature of the presentation, children may
not attend.
PHOTOS: To see images from a previous crime lab workshop, visit
­, or call

LOS ANGELES- Turn on the TV today and odds are good you'll see white lab
coats, DNA swabs and magnified fingerprints on computer screens. CSI is hot
stuff, in fictional series ("NCIS: Los Angeles," "Bones," "Dexter," "CSI")
and documentary programming. But it's not often that the general public gets
a chance to tour a real crime lab with the forensic investigators and
educators who use its tools to solve crimes and develop new research

Leave it to LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association), the creative
consortium helmed by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the married couple whose
Esotouric bus adventures have transformed the guided tour experience, to
make a real-life CSI experience accessible to interested laypersons. Working
closely with one of LAVA's most intriguing Visionary members, Professor
Donald Johnson, they've developed a series of events highlighting the work
conducted at Cal State L.A.'s state-of-the-art Hertzberg-Davis Forensic
Science Center, presented through tours and short lectures from the
scientist/educators and graduate students who work there.

LAVA's inaugural lecture and tour in the CSULA crime lab in October 2010 was
fully reserved in three hours, with hundreds of people signing up to be on
the waiting list. The repeat engagement in November also sold out quickly,
as did the Phil Spector trace evidence presentation in April 2011, the July
2011 event focusing on Patrick Tillman's death in Afghanistan and the
November 2011 program on using national databases to solve local crimes. The
latest sell out was Ed Nordskog's "Inside the Mind of the Arsonist" in March
2012. Space is very limited and pre-reservation recommended for this
unprecedented opportunity to tour the crime lab, learn from experienced
forensic investigators and educators, and discover the real art and science
of crime scene investigation. A portion of the proceeds from this event
supports the research of Criminalistics graduate students at Cal State Los


In the 1950s, wannabe photographer Harvey Glatman kidnapped and murdered
three models after tricking them into agreeing to be bound and gagged. In
1995, model Linda Sobek was kidnapped and murdered by Charles Rathbun, the
professional photographer who had booked her services for a commercial
shoot. These two similar Los Angeles County murder cases, four decades
apart, reveal how much crime scene investigation has changed in the digital
age, while the antisocial instincts that lead to murder remain the same.

On June 3, you can join Heidi Robbins, the Assistant Director of the
Scientific Services Bureau crime lab of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
Department, and the lead investigator on the Linda Sobek case, and Mike
Fratantoni, an LASD Deputy who sits on the board of the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Museum, for a fascinating afternoon uncovering "The Killer Behind
The Camera," an in-depth presentation drawing on personal casework and
historic evidence files.

"The Killer Behind The Camera" focuses on two criminal cases in which sexual
offenders used the role of professional photographer in order to gain the
trust of hired models, who they then murdered. These strikingly similar
cases happened four decades apart, and illustrate the evolution in police
work and forensic science from the 1950s through the 1990.

Lecture #1: Linda Sobek, a swimsuit model and former Los Angeles Raiders
cheerleader, was murdered in 1995 by photographer Charles Rathbun, who lured
her to a remote dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert to shoot photos with a new
Lexus SUV. Her body was dumped in the Angeles National Forest, north of Los
Angeles. Rathburn lead deputies to the body after confessing he had
accidentally struck Sobek while trying to teach her a car stunt on the lake
bed; in fact, she was asphyxiated. Heidi Robbins, the Assistant Director of
the Scientific Services Bureau crime lab of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
Department, and the lead investigator on the case, will outline the forensic
investigation which debunked Rathbun's testimony and the faked photos
offered up as evidence of consensual sex in Rathbun's defense. Charles
Rathbun was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in 1996.

Lecture #2: Harvey Glatman was a serial killer who was active in Southern
California and Colorado in the late 1950s. Obsessed with the posed crime
scene photographs illustrating pulp magazines, Glatman posed as a
professional photographer in order to lure models into posing for scenes
illustrating his murderous fantasies. Glatman photographed his victims while
assaulting them, then strangled and dumped their bodies in the desert. Mike
Fratantoni, an LASD Deputy who sits on the board of the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Museum, will talk about Glatman's crimes and his extraordinary
capture, which took place after the model who could have been his last
victim overpowered and beat her assailant on the side of the highway. Harvey
Glatman was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and executed in

Between the case history lectures, the hands-on lab section will focus on
methods of forensic photography and analysis.

By the afternoon¹s conclusion, attendees will have a deeper understanding of
the real work that¹s done in the field by forensic investigators, and the
tools and techniques used to interpret crime scenes for the benefit of
investigating officers and juries.

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative
professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to
the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA's creative
partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their
work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER --
proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog
series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land) -- LAVA brings together
L.A.'s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers. The first
crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural
chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO,
Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA
BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY
LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER,
designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK,
documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN,
pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ,
puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter
musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros
Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, sculptor
DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON,
author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian
ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE
HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY
LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE
EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM,
musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER
CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, urban explorer (Ranger) JENNY PRICE,
filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN
RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON
ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES,
performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, curator JULIE RICO, "Kristin's List"
cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME
PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D'AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO,
performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL
LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR,
architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director
NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music
producer NO'A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer
/musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius
Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, historic ghost seeker RICHARD
CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist
ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP,
social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY,
artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA,
sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at

To learn more about LAVA, please visit

LAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, Professor Donald Johnson and
most of LAVA's Visionary members are available for interviews, and a very
limited number of journalists on assignment can be accommodated at the
event. Contact Kim at, 323-223-2767.

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