MILFORD – Forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee shared stories about war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy during a visit April 24 with forensic students at Lauralton Hall.
"Forensics helps students see the practical use of sciences. Abstract formulas can be difficult for young people to grasp and get excited about, but when they can see real life applications such as understanding how the trajectory of a bullet can help us solve a crime and help bring families resolution, it makes the science more meaningful to them," Dr. Lee said.
"I encourage students to pursue a career in forensics because it is not only an exciting career path with many options, it is a field where you can prevent further crimes – where you truly can make a huge difference."
Forensic science teacher Jennifer Shea described Dr. Lee’s talk as "incredible."
"His talk ranged from motivational anecdotes to comprehensive descriptions of actual criminal cases. He incorporated details such as DNA analysis techniques and he illuminated real-world forensics in a way that was humorous, informative and inspiring," she said.
Lauralton senior Shea Dolan spoke along the same lines.
"I think forensics is a cool field to study because it combines all of the sciences and it helps bring justice to the world. My grandfather worked with Dr. Lee on several cases and has travelled with him to China. Dr. Lee is not only an amazing scientist, but he knows how to explain forensics in a way that teens can relate to, so I was very excited when he agreed to come speak at Lauralton," Miss Dolan said.
She said she hopes to pursue a career in forensic nursing, which combines anatomy and biology.
Over more than 40 years, Dr. Lee has investigated more than 8,000 cases. He was pivotal in establishing a modern state police communication system, the community-based police services sex offender and DNA databank, and major crime investigation concepts, and he created the Forensic Sciences program at the University of New Haven.
Dr. Lee’s well-known cases include the Kennedy assassination; "woodchipper murder"; and O. J. Simpson, Jason Williams, Mike Peterson, and William Kennedy Smith trials.