Crime Scene Philly: James Manasco

SciTech presented a wonderful interest session on Crime Scene Investigation with the Philadelphia FBI Office Evidence Response Team – Senior Team Leader: Gene Lanzillo.  The “murder” that we had to solve was that of University of Louisville librarian James Manasco – complete with crime scene photos!  Agent Lanzillo, allowed us to share what we saw in the crime scene photographs and then he would talk about how he would approach the scene and the photograph.

The attendees were also educated on what the responsibility of the FBI Evidence Response Team is and what stays at the state or local level.  Except for the Team Leader, all the other members are assigned other duties within the FBI and they are only part-time members of the team.  He did say that he was happy that while he had served many National Security letters – he’s never had to serve one to a library!  He also reminded us of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America – and there are no real exigent circumstances for murder, although death does negate a person’s right to privacy in a majority of circumstances.

The amount of training that the FBI agents originally receive is not much, but once selected to the Evidence Response Team there is much additional training.  Technicians do NOT do as Horatio Caine and Gil Hodges do on CSI – the are very methodical and careful, always wearing gloves, etc.

He also had some good take-aways for librarians:

  1. try to make no assumptions – ask yourself what do I actually see?
  2. Context is vital!

A very amusing and entertaining speech – if it runs again in the future I strongly recommend that any information professional attend.

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