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Forensic Science Seminar Series Continues with More Kansas Crimes

A Wichita murder case is the topic for the next installment of the Emporia State University Master of Science in Forensic Science 2023-2024 Seminar Series. This fifth series and first event of the spring 2024 semester continues the theme “More Kansas Crimes.”

The session features the story of Letitia Davis, who was brutally assaulted in Wichita’s Fairmont Park on Nov. 14, 2014. Davis succumbed to her injuries eight days later. Attendees will hear about the case through the eyes of the prosecutor, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5, in Science Hall 72. The seminar is free to the public.

The first series launched in 2018 and has grown an audience both on campus and in the Emporia community.

"Over the years, we've built a community following and it's one of the things that I've been happiest about. We have people from all over the community come, and it's nice to have something that brings the ESU community and the Emporia community together,” said Dr. Melissa Bailey, director of the MSFS program at Emporia State. “I have appreciated the support of our community followers tremendously!"

The seminar series also provides opportunities for current students who are either interested in a forensic science career or are seeking a degree in the master’s program. Bailey added. "I think the seminar series gives our students the ability to see how forensic science plays a role in solving real crimes and the fact that some cases are based on physical evidence while at other times, it's part of many pieces that come together. Students from across campus come, and my hope is that it continues to spark interest in forensic science as a potential career. For students in the MSFS program, it's also their opportunity to network with practitioners, and many times, our students have kept in touch with the speakers after the seminar is over."

After the Feb. 5 session, two remaining seminars for the spring semester are:

  • March 4: “Reading Your Skeleton: Forensic Anthropology and Death Investigation” featuring Dr. Alexandra Klales, director of the Washburn University Forensic Anthropology Recovery Unit, FARU and associate professor, Washburn University
  • April 8: “Femme Fatale — Not So Fairer of the Sexes” featuring Dr. Timothy P. Rohrig, visiting professor, Emporia State University and University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

Some content covered in the sessions is not suitable for young children. Parental discretion is advised.