Forensics Expert Henry Lee to Speak at UMass Amherst Nov. 3

AMHERST, Mass. - Henry C. Lee will speak on "Advances in Forensic Science" at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3 in the Massachusetts Room at the Mullins Center. The event is free and open to the public, although seating is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the press are welcome to attend.

Lee is a preeminent forensic investigator who has investigated more than 6,000 cases around the world, and has testified as an expert witness in many high-profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson trial and the JonBenet Ramsey investigation. Although he recently retired as commissioner of the Connecticut State Police, he continues to serve as director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Laboratory.

Despite being associated with several high-profile cases, Lee has said that he also finds satisfaction in solving lower-profile investigations. For example, beginning with paint chips and bits of plastic he collected following a hit-and-run incident, Lee was able to identify the driver, who severely injured a Connecticut state trooper and killed a motorist. In another case, his lab used DNA evidence to clear one man and convict another in the rape case of an elderly woman. "These are small cases. The media may not even know about them, but they’re very important to us," Lee said. "We protected an innocent person’s rights."

Lee graduated from the Taiwan Central Police College with a degree in police science in 1960. After working in the Taipei Police Department for several years as a police captain, he came to New York in 1965 with his wife, $50, and knowledge of only a few words of English. He attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and earned a B.S. in forensic science. He then went on to New York University to earn a master’s degree in science and a doctorate in biochemistry. He is a Distinguished Professor at the University of New Haven.

Lee’s presentation marks the first annual William E. Mahoney Seminar, and is hosted by the chemistry department. Mahoney is a 1955 graduate of that department, and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member. Prior to his retirement from industry in 1996, he was vice chairman and chief operating officer of Witco Corporation, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of chemical and petroleum products.

NOTE: Lee will be available to speak with the press for approximately 20 minutes following his lecture.