Forensic scientist seeks to reclaim juvenile offendors

He has worked on cases such as the Helle Crafts wood chipper murder, the O.J. Simpson and Laci Peterson cases, the post-9/11 forensic investigation, the Washington DC sniper shootings and reinvestigattion of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Henry Lee went to the US with 50 dollars on hand in 1964 and started his life with part-time jobs in restaurant. In 1998 he became the Connecticut's Commissioner of Public Safety, the first Chinese American chief in the state-level police department.

“I’d like to bring hope to the youth through my speeches,” Dr. Henry Lee, one of the world's foremost forensic scientists, told the sino-us.com in a telephone interview on the eve of the Hurricane Sandy on October 29.

Lee, a visiting professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven and a visiting professor at the East China University of Political Science and Law, delivers motivational speeches home and abroad in an attempt to reclaim juvenile offenders.

“We shall provide an opportunity to such teenagers from lower-income or disadvantaged families. They are vulnerable to crimes due to peer pressure and unequal treatment. If we plant a seed in their hearts, they will help others when they grow up,” said the 73-year-old professor.

Everyone has an equal opportunity in the American society but discrimination does exist. The doctor advised the Chinese to learn from the Jewish who are collaboratively mobilized in social drives to battle against discrimination.

During his 50-year forensic career, Lee said the most difficult task in handling a case is the cross-state coordination and cooperation.

“There is no federal public security facility in the US and the law differs from state to state. If a corpse is found on the border between Connecticut and New York, the difference between the two places makes heavy weather of tracing a clue. Therefore, communication and cooperation are vital in an investigation,” said the scientist.

The detective is also concerned about some cases in China. A fugitive serial killer and armed robber Zhou Kehua was shot dead by police in southwestern city of Chongqing on August 14. But a lurid photo of Zhou sprawling on the ground with blood streaming from his head drew a widespread speculation on the Internet that the scene was fabricated.  

“The photo is real so far as I see. There is an explosion of information on the Internet, but some is skewed and some is falsified. We need laws and regulations to guarantee the authenticity of online information and quash rumors,” Lee said.

He is still undecided about who he will vote for in the upcoming presidential election and said he knows Mitt Romney well.

“The top concern for the US is economy, so it is a good opportunity for liberal-minded Romney. The economic recovery boils down to creating jobs. And for old brands like Kodak and IBM, they’ve got to restructure their strategy otherwise they will hit a dead end.”


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