July 5, 2012

Gentle reader,

This is a small note to update you on LAVA’s occasional forensic science events in the Cal State Los Angeles crime lab, hosted by Visionary Professor Donald Johnson.

We’re very pleased to announce that, starting with the August crime lab seminar, these events are co-sponsored by the California Forensic Science Institute. You can learn about the broad spectrum of CFSI’s work in the field at http://www.cal-fsi.com

We’re currently developing our fall crime lab seminars, which promise to be very interesting indeed. We can’t tell you more until a few more pieces fall into place, but if you stay tuned to this channel, you’re sure hear all about it first.

The next event on the LAVA crime lab calendar is COLD A LONG TIME: SOLVING A 22-YEAR-OLD FORENSIC MYSTERY, on August 26. You can reserve your spot at the link below.

We hope you’ll hoin acclaimed true crime author John Leake and trace evidence expert Lynne Herold, Senior Criminalist with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, for this special presentation based on John’s latest book “Cold A Long Time: An Alpine Mystery,” winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher Award—Bronze Medal, True Crime.

The Mystery: In August 1989, Duncan MacPherson, a pro hockey player, disappeared in Europe. With no help from the police, his parents searched the Alps looking for him. They found his car near the gondola station at the Stubai Glacier, a popular ski resort near Innsbruck, Austria. The car had sat in the lot for six weeks without being reported. Fourteen years later, Duncan’s body was found at the resort. What happened to Duncan MacPherson? In order to answer that question, true crime author John Leake sought the expertise of trace evidence examiner Lynne Herold, whom he knew had served as a key witness in the prosecution of international serial killer Jack Unterweger, the subject of John’s first book.

Join John and Lynne as they team up a second time to solve the 22-year-old forensic mystery of Duncan MacPherson’s disappearance. Through presentation of physical evidence recovered from the scene, eyewitness testimony, chronology of events, additional evidentiary research and peculiar gaps in the forensic records, crime lab attendees will follow John through the steps by which he discovered a shocking cover up and the answers for which Duncan MacPherson’s parents had been searching for more than a decade.

We hope to see you at the event on August 26, but you’re most welcome to check out LAVA’s other interesting events, including a series of historic true crime tours on the Esotouric bus.

Please visit the LAVA website, Twitter or Facebook page (links below), or sign up for the main LAVA Flows email newsletter at the LAVA site for regular updates on events outside the crime lab.

Kim & Richard
LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association

Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Description:

From the founding of the city through the 1940s, downtown was the true center of Los Angeles, a lively, densely populated, exciting and sometimes dangerous place. After many quiet decades, downtown is making an incredible return. But while many of the historic buildings remain, their human context has been lost. Esotouric's downtown double feature tour is meant to bring alive the old ghosts and memories that cling to the streets and structures of the historic core, and is especially recommended for downtown residents curious about their neighborhood's neglected history. The Hotel Horrors portion is a true crime and oddities tour featuring some of the wildest, weirdest, goriest and most memorable happenings in historic hotels like the Alexandria, St. George, Barclay and Cecil. Get on the bus to see inside some of these legendary locales and find out where Night Stalker Richard Ramirez liked to stay and the hotel that saw a visit from the Skid Row Slasher, and where two traveling chocolate salesmen laughed so hard they fell backwards out a window to their deaths. You'll also explore the fiery curse that repeatedly leveled the St. George Hotel.

Richard's Birthday Bus Tour of Public Mausolea of Los Angeles & Orange Counties

Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Event Description:

A Special Event Esotouric bus adventure: Richard’s one-time only Birthday Bus Tour of Public Mausolea of Los Angeles & Orange Counties hosted by Nathan Marsak.

For Richard’s once-a-year birthday bus adventure, we invite you to climb aboard for a 7-hour excursion exploring some of the greatest buildings in the Southland that you’ve never seen—unless you go to a lot of funerals.

Lunch is included in the ticket price.

The tour is hosted by Nathan Marsak, America’s wittiest historian of mortuary architecture. At each of the mausolea that we visit, Nathan will share the histories and structural secrets of these magnificent structures, revealing their compelling narratives through vintage photographs and insights into the architect, engineer and civic groups that funded each project.

Pasadena Confidential (with Crimebo the Clown)

Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Description:

The Crown City masquerades as a calm and refined retreat, where well-bred ladies glide around their perfect bungalows and everyone knows what fork to use first. But don't be fooled by appearances. Dip into the confidential files of old Pasadena and meet assassins and oddballs, kidnappers and slashers, Satanists and all manner of maniac in a delightful little tour you WON'T find recommended by the better class of people! From celebrated cases like the RFK assassination (with a visit to Sirhan Sirhan's folks' house), "Eraserhead" star Jack Nance's strange end, black magician/rocket scientist Jack Parsons' death-by-misadventure and the 1926 Rose Parade grand stand collapse, to fascinating obscurities, the tour's dozens of murders, arsons, kidnappings, robberies, suicides, auto wrecks and oddball happening sites provide a alternate history of Pasadena that's as fascinating as it is creepy. Passengers will tour the old Millionaire's Row on Orange Grove, thrill to the shocking Sphinx Murder on the steps of the downtown Masonic Hall and discover why people named Judd should think twice before moving to Pasadena.

Eastside Babylon crime bus tour

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Description:

Go East, Young Crime Fiend!

For years, the devoted and demented crime historians of Esotouric have been stockpiling hideous 20th century crime tales from the east side of the Los Angeles River, and waiting for the perfect moment to spring them upon an unsuspecting world. That moment has arrived. On the EAST SIDE BABYLON tour you'll discover fascinating, little-known neighborhoods and the grim memories they hold. Come visit Boyle Heights, where the Night Stalker was captured and a mad dad ran amok. Roam the hallowed lawns of Evergreen, L.A.'s oldest cemetery and home of some memorable haunts and strange burials. Visit East Los Angeles, where a deranged radio shop employee made mince meat of his boss and bride--and you can get your hair done in a building shaped like a giant tamale. Explore the ghastly streets of Commerce, where one small neighborhood's myriad crimes will shock and surprise. Visit Montebello, for scrumptious milk and cookies at Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy washed down with a horrifying case of child murder. All this, and so much more on EAST SIDE BABYLON, Esotouric's exploration of L.A.'s most horrifying forgotten crimes.

Pershing Square Renew Launch Party

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Event Description:

The Pershing Square Restoration Society invites you to attend the Pershing Square Renew Launch Party, the first public event from the new non-profit organization "dedicated to supporting and facilitating Pershing Square's revitalization."

Pershing Square Renew says "Join us in the heart of Downtown for a fun-filled night of music, art, food, ice skating, interactive games, and prize-giveaways. Although this night will be about having fun and celebrating with the community, it will also be an opportunity for you to weigh in on your hopes, dreams, and aspirations for a renewed Pershing Square." 

Where There's Smoke forensic science seminar

Sunday, January 18, 2015 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Description:

To purchase a ticket for this special event, click here. If you'd like to be contacted when another crime lab tour and lecture are scheduled, subscribe to LAVA's occasional Crime Lab Newsletter.

Join us in the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab for an afternoon’s inquiry into the history of forensic science in Los Angeles, in support of new research coming out of the Criminalistics Department.

We are delighted to announce a return engagement by LAVA favorite Ed Nordskog, Senior Arson Investigator for the LASD and author of "Torchered" Minds: Case Histories of Notorious Serial Arsonists and Fire Raisers and Freaks and Fiends: Obsessive Arsonists in the California Foothills.

"The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words" talk, book signing and walking tour

Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Event Description:

To sign up for this free event: First register as a user on this site, and then return to this page. Refresh the page and the signup tab will appear just to the left. Enter your email address. No plus-ones; each guest must register individually.

LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association and The Larry Edmunds Bookshop invite you to join Barry Day for a celebration of his new book, The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (Random House). Space is extremely limited and reservations required for this free event.

Barry Day will give a short illustrated talk, answer questions and sign books.

Whisky & Poetry Salon ~ Two Year Anniversary at Three Clubs Lounge

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm

Event Description:

Come celebrate the Whisky & Poetry Salon's Two Year Anniversay with flights of single malt Scotch and three dynamic poets at the Three Clubs Lounge in Hollywood.

We drink poetry....

The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour

Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Description:

"This bus tour... has established itself as an L.A. classic." -The Los Angeles Times

The Black Dahlia murder in 1947 is the most compelling unsolved crime Los Angeles has ever known. What Jack the Ripper is to London, the Torso Killer to Cleveland, the Black Dahlia is to L.A. And yet unlike those other cases, the name Black Dahlia refers not to the killer, but to the victim. What was it about Elizabeth Short that keeps her the object of obsessive fascination by writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, cops and readers, more than sixty years after she was slain?

Haunts of A Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles tour

Saturday, January 17, 2015 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Description:

"[This tour is] a poetic journey full of rare insight into the life of a man who's come to represent the ghettoized contingency of the City of Angels.” - Tanja M. Laden, Flavorpill