Back by popular demand for the third year, the LIM Expert Witness Track features a dozen experts in forensics to show-and-tell you the processes and procedures behind forensics crime scene investigation. Return to this page often for updates on who's coming and what you can learn:
David Ciambrone will talk about Flim Flam: The Art Behind the Sting. David is the award-winning author of nine mysteries and numerous nonfiction books, including Poisons Handbook for Writers. A retired scientist living in Texas, he is a frequent speaker at writers conferences, organizations and colleges around the country He is Past President of Sisters in Crime Central Texas Chapter and the San Gabriel Writers Guild.
Dr. Neal Haskell uses his knowledge of the life cycles of insects to determine time and location of death. He has testified as an expert witness in numerous trials across the world and country, including the 2011 Florida trial of Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering her toddler daughter, Caylee. Dr. Haskell is recognized as an expert witness in the courts in Canada and in 27 states in the United States. He earned a Bachelor of Science in entomology, a Master of Science in entomology and a doctorate in forensic entomology, all from Purdue University. His master and doctorate degrees were the first such degrees earned in the country, according to the American Institute of Forensic Education. His work has been featured on PBS, A&E, The History Channel and The Learning Channel and in Popular Science and Discovery magazines. Dr. Haskell's work has also been published in several major journals and books and helped inspire the popular television show CSI. The book Dead Reckoning by Dr. Michael Baden and Marion Roach devotes a full chapter to Dr. Haskell's research and training in Rensselaer and interesting case studies.
Dale Kaczmarek is President of the Ghost Trackers, Newsletter, editor of Ghost Trackers Newsletter, and director of Excursions Into The Unknown, Inc., the only year-round ghost tour of haunted Chicagoland locations. Dale Kaczmarek is also the author of Windy City Ghosts, Windy City Ghosts II, A Field Guide to Spirit Photography and Illuminating the Darkness: The Mystery of Spooklights.
Kara Stefanson, DNA Resource Specialist for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, holds degrees in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice, both from Michigan State University. After graduation in 1992, she accepted a position as staff serologist for the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department Crime Laboratory in Wheaton, Illinois where she analyzed evidence from criminal investigations for the presence of blood and other body fluids. In 1998 Ms. Stefanson accepted a management position in Forensic Biology and DNA with the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago where she supervised, and mentored approximately 10 forensic scientists. In 2004 Ms. Stefanson was asked to join the team of prosecutors for Cook County where she provides assistance with DNA related issues and conducts foundational training in Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis for the criminal prosecutors assigned to the County. Throughout her forensic career, Ms. Stefanson has committed to providing training in the field of Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis to law enforcement officers, emergency room personnel and trial attorneys.
Deanne Theodore has been a Polygraph Examiner and Private Detective for more than 12 years. Her hobbies include quilting and reading. She is an avid reader of mystery novels. Deanne loves to demonstrate the many uses of the polygraph and welcomes audience participation.
Amy Watroba joined the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in 2001 and has been an Assistant State’s Attorney for her entire legal career. Ms. Watroba is an experienced appellate and trial attorney specializing in issues related to forensic science, especially DNA. Ms. Watroba litigated the case of People v. Sandy Williams in the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court, and was a member of the appellate team that prepared the case of Williams v. Illinois for presentation to the United States Supreme Court upon grant of certiorari. Ms. Watroba has litigated five additional cases in the Illinois Supreme Court, and has briefed and argued dozens of cases before the Illinois Appellate Court, many dealing with legal issues related to DNA, autopsies, and fingerprints. Ms. Watroba was assigned to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s Forensic Science Unit at its inception in January of 2014, and now concentrates on litigating criminal cases involving complex DNA or forensic science issues and providing legal support for colleagues utilizing forensic evidence in the courtroom. Ms. Watroba received her law degree from Loyola University-Chicago School of Law in 2001. She graduated with Honors from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1998 with a B.A. in Creative Writing from the Residential College. Ms. Watroba was awarded the Jeffrey L. Weisberg Award in Poetry in the 1995 University of Michigan Hopwood Awards.