The exhumation of human remains can be deserving or undeserving. This presentation will critically evaluate those reasons which authorized the exhumation of Jesse James by the presenter. Those reasons and others would arguably justify the presenter’s exhumation of the remains of Meriwether Lewis. John Wilkes Booth will be presented as an unfounded exhumation. Historical, scientific and human values will be addressed in detail.
James E. Starrs is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. He also holds a joint appointment as a Professor of Forensic Sciences in the Department of Forensic Sciences of the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University. He received his BA and LLB degrees from St. John’s University and his LLM degree from New York University, where he subsequently held a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Professor Starrs is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, which in 1996 bestowed upon him its Distinguished Fellow medallion. In addition, he is a past Chairman of the Jurisprudence Section of the Academy and served two three-year terms on its Board of Directors. For fifteen years, he was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences and is the co-author, with Moenssens, Henderson and Inbau, of Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases. He is also the author of approximately 100 articles in law and science. Professor Starrs has been a senior co-editor of Scientific Sleuthing Review for the past twenty-five years. He was on the advisory board for the three-volume Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. Among other scientific memberships, he is a member of the Geological Society of America. He has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally, to legal and scientific audiences on various subjects in the forensic sciences.
Professor Starrs is probably most well known for having directed a number of exhumations of historical figures in controversial historical matters, such as the assassination of Senator Huey P. Long, the death and cannibalism of the five victims of Alfred Packer, the C.I.A. LSD related death of Frank R. Olson, PhD, and the identification of the remains of Jesse W. James. He has investigated the death of famed American explorer, Meriwether Lewis and the mysteries underlying the death of F.B.I. Director, J. Edgar Hoover. In 1999, he was the director of excavations in Charles Town, West Virginia which sought to locate and identify the remains of Samuel Washington, George Washington’s brother. In 2000, he organized a re-investigation into the Boston Strangler killings, including the exhumation of Mary Sullivan and Albert DeSalvo. Among his other accomplishments, Professor Starrs crafted a computerized simulation of the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman as well as the killings of the Menendez parents, both of which were shown on national television.
College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 SOuth 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103
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