RSS

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Crime and Science Radio: Inside the Los Angeles Regional Crime Lab: An Interview with Dean Gialamas

CSR 300x250-72dpi

This Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10 a.m. PST join Jan Burke and DP Lyle as they welcome Dean Gialamas, Director of the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department’s Crime Lab, to the show to discuss this unique lab, what it’s like be be a crime lab director, the new federal forensic science commission, and more!

Dean Gialamas is the former director of the Orange County Crime Lab, the current director of the LASD crime lab, and was recently appointed to the first-ever National Commission on Forensic Science.  He is a past president of the American Society of Crime Lab Directors, and the president-elect of the California Association of Crime Lab Directors.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of Scientific Services is an ASCLD/LAB-International/ISO 17025 accredited laboratory that operates from 10 facilities and employs over 300 personnel.  It serves a population of six million residents and over 100 local, state, and federal agencies.

LISTEN

LINKS:

LASD’s Scientific Services

FBI Laboratory Services

The Crime Lab Project

How Stuff Works: How Forensic Lab Techniques Work

Forensic Science Timeline

Experts Named to National Commission on Forensic Science

Announcement of Formation of the National Commission on Forensic Science

LASD Scientific Services Bureau

LAPD Scientific Investigation Division

American Academy of Forensic Sciences

American Society of Crime Lab Directors

American Society of Crime Lab Directors – Laboratory Accreditation Board

International Association for Identification

California Association of Crime Lab Directors

Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center

California Association of Criminalists

Dean Gialamas at NIJ 2010 on Backlogs as a False Metric

Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission

 

Q and A: Can My Female Character Cause Her Pregnancy To Become A “Stone Baby” By Shear Will?

Q: I am writing a story about a woman who, through sheer force of will, doesn’t allow her body to complete childbirth. The baby dies and becomes a lithopedia. My questions are:

Will there be bleeding in spite of the labor stopping? What happens to the placenta? Will the body absorb it or will it harden like some kind cocoon? Will the mother lactate? Will it cause the mother pain to carry the stone baby? Will the woman have periods? Is it plausible that the mother’s body will experience contractions years later? Or pains caused by the stone baby that she could believe are contractions? How long does it take the fetus to calcify into the lithopedia?

Nicole Nelson-Hicks, Nashville, TN

A: First of all, there is no way she could stop her pregnancy, labor, or delivery by simple force of will. The body will do what the body does and it will eject the fetus either as a stillbirth or a live child. There is no way to stop this.

Secondly, lithopedia (stone babies—singular lithopedion) tend to occur in abdominal pregnancies as opposed to intrauterine pregnancies, even though it is possible for the fetus to remain within the uterus. Conception actually takes place in the fallopian tube as the egg descends and the sperm rises – at least in most cases. A tubal pregnancy can result where the fetus grows within the fallopian tube and rarely the fertilized egg will escape the end of the fallopian tube and settle within the abdomen. Sometimes the blood supply is established and the child can grow within the abdomen. Rarely to term but it can grow. It would take 12 or so weeks for the fetus to reach a size that would be easily visible.

x-ray

In this situation sometimes the tissues of the dead fetus are not absorbed by the body but rather become walled off with fibrous tissue and this can often then calcify which is where the term stone baby comes from.

Lithopedion

Often the woman will have no knowledge of this whatsoever and women have lived late in life, and indeed very late in life, and not know this has occurred. It is often found on an abdominal x-ray that is taken for some other reason. But she could feel the discomfort or have some sensation of a mass or fullness in her abdomen and it could be discovered as a result of that.

If the pregnancy were outside the uterus and in the abdomen, as is most likely in these exceedingly rare circumstances, she would not lactate because those hormones don’t appear until very late in the pregnancy. She would most likely have normal periods, and could even become pregnant again since the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes would be normal and would continue to function normally.

However, if the fetus remained within the uterus, this could interfere with future pregnancies, though not always. It would be very similar to a woman who had large fibroids, which are muscular masses that develop with in the muscular wall of the uterus and often cause pain and abnormal bleeding. Sometimes normal pregnancies occur despite these and that could be the case here.

It is possible that she could experience discomfort many years later with the fetus being located in either the uterus or the abdomen so that part of your story would work quite well.

In summary, this is an exceedingly rare circumstance and it is nothing that she could force to happen. Most likely it would be with an abdominal pregnancy but it could be an intrauterine pregnancy—though this would be even more rare. If an abdominal pregnancy, she could easily go through life normally and have other children and be completely unaware or she can develop symptoms later as I described above. If the pregnancy were intrauterine, she would likely have more symptoms and more likely be aware that something wasn’t right. But in either circumstance it would be possible for her to have normal periods and even become pregnant again.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Medical Issues, Q&A

 

The Writers Forensics Blog: 100 Top Websites to Bookmark

The crew over at FornesicScienceDegrees.org have listed The Writers Forensics Blog as one of their Top 100 Websites to Bookmark, which they describe as a “list of great sites to present practical, real-world information on the subject.” Many great sources here.

Thanks. I’m flattered.

 

 

Sisters in Crime, Orange County, FORENSICS FEST 2014

Sisters in Crime, Orange County PRESENTS….

FORENSICS FEST 2014

Sunday, January 26 at 2 p.m.

Special guests: JAN BURKE and D.P. LYLE

Jan Burke is the award-winning author of the Irene Kelly mysteries, the Edgar winner for Best Novel (Bones), and founder of The Crime Lab Project.

D.P. Lyle is the author of best-selling books on forensics, as well as Stress Fracture, Book One in the Dub Walker series.

Together they’ve launched the twice-monthly internet radio show called “Crime and Science Radio” on Suspense Radio/Blog Talk Radio with John Raab. (Join them every other Saturday at 10 a.m., or catch their archived shows at http://www.suspensemagazine.com/CrimeandScienceRadio.html )

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC   

Come hear Jan and Doug talk crime & science and meet & mingle with crime writers & readers! 

And mark your calendars: FORENSICS FEST PART II will be held Sunday, February 23  

For additional details and location info go to http://www.ocsistersincrime.org

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 21, 2014 in General Forensics, Writing

 

Mystery On The Menu: Cerritos Library Event this Saturday 1-25-14

If you are in the Southern California area, join me and a stellar group of authors for a fun event to support the Cerritos Library. Details:

2014_01_13_07_24_56

2014_01_13_07_19_53

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Writing

 

Crime & Science Radio: The Body Tells the Tale: DP Lyle and Jan Burke Interview Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson

CSR 300x250-72dpi

The Body Tells the Tale: DP Lyle and Jan Burke Interview Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson

Join DP Lyle and Jan Burke as they explore the world of death, corpses, and decay with Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass is the founder of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, the so called Body Farm. Jon Jefferson is a journalist, writer, and documentary film maker. Together they write fiction as Jefferson Bass. This will be a lively, or is it deadly, interview.

LISTENhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2013/11/20/crime-and-science-radio–jon-jefferson-and-bill-bass

LINKS:

The Body Farm-Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_farm

Tour The Body Farm: http://www.jeffersonbass.com/videos.html

Video Tour of The Body Farm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSDCiOW81mk

WBIR Interview: http://www.wbir.com/news/article/139066/190/Your-Stories-Dr-Bill

JeffersonBass Website: http://www.jeffersonbass.com/index.php

Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales: http://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Acre-Inside-Legendary-Forensic/dp/0425198324

Metro Pulse: The Cult of Forensics Expert Dr. Bill Bass: http://www.metropulse.com/news/2009/feb/25/cult-forensics-expert-dr-bill-bass/

Peter Breslow’s 2004 NPR Profile of The Body Farm: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1906569

Taphonomy-Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taphonomy

 

CRIME & SCIENCE RADIO UPCOMING SHOWS

CSR 300x250-72dpi
 
 
 
CRIME & SCIENCE RADIO UPCOMING SHOWS
 
 
 
 
 
 
1-18-14: The Body Tells the Tale: DP Lyle and Jan Burke Interview Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson

Join DP Lyle and Jan Burke as they explore the world of death, corpses, and decay with Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass is the founder of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, the so called Body Farm. Jon Jefferson is a journalist, writer, and documentary film maker. Together they write fiction as Jefferson Bass. This will be a lively, or is it deadly, interview.

2-1-14: Inside the Los Angeles Regional Crime Lab: An Interview with Dean Gialamas

Jan Burke and DP Lyle welcome Dean Gialamas, Director of the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department’s Crime Lab, to the show to discuss this unique lab, what it’s like be be a crime lab director, the new federal forensic science commission, and more!

2-15-14: FBI Special Agents: What Do These Guys Do?: And Interview with George Fong, FBI Retired

Join Jan Burke and DP Lyle as they welcome retired FBI Special Agent George Fong for a lively discussion of exactly what FBI agents do.

3-1-14: Working the Crime Scene: An interview With Forensic Specialist Lisa Black

Join Jan Burke and DP lyle as they discuss working the crime scene with forensic specialist and crime fiction author Lisa Black

3-15-14: Burning Down the House: An Interview with Fire Investigator John Lentini

John Lentini will education us about scientific fire investigation, what can be learned from examining the scene of a fire, and why improved training and scientific approaches to fire investigation are so important.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Crime and Science Radio

 
 
%d bloggers like this: