Advisory Board - Community

Photo of Jan Burke














Jan Burke, Author, Crime Lab Project

While doing research for her novels, Jan Burke became aware of a gap between public perceptions and the realities facing crime labs. With the support of forensic scientists, fellow writers, and members of the public she founded the Crime Lab Project in 2003, a nonprofit which advocates the improvement of forensic science and increased funding for forensic science labs, education, and research. She is also the cohost, with Dr. Doug Lyle, of Crime and Science Radio. 

Photo of Elizabeth Devine














Elizabeth Devine, Writer Producer, CBS

Elizabeth graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  She received a Master of Science Degree in Criminalistics from California State University, Los Angeles in 1985. She was promoted to Supervising Criminalist, ultimately heading up the Crime Scene Unit and co-supervising the DNA lab.  She trained investigators in homicide investigation, sexual assault investigation and crime scene reconstruction.  After 15 years with the LA Sheriff, in 2000, Devine retired as their most experienced crime scene reconstruction expert to join the production staff on a brand new television drama entitled CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as a technical consultant.  Devine currently works as a Co-Executive Producer for CSI: Crime Scene investigation which will end it's fifteenth season in January.

Photo of Denise Bertone





Denise Bertone, Coroner Investigator, LA County Medical Examiner Coroner

Denise attended Pasadena City College and have an associate degree in nursing.  She graduated in 1992.  She has a current license as a registered nurse in addition to a certification with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.  Denise has worked for the County of Los Angeles, Department of Medical-Examiner Coroner for twelve years as a pediatric death investigator.  She has investigated more than 3,000 pediatric deaths.  Before coming to the Department of ME-Coroner, she worked as an emergency room nurse at LAC+USC Medical Center for ten years.  In addition to her duties as an emergency room nurse she was a sexual assault nurse and a mobile intensive care nurse.  She has no current grant or contract support.  She teaches pediatric death investigation for the California Coroner Academy.

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Bruce Houlihan, Director, Orange County Crime Laboratory

Bruce Houlihan is Director of the Orange County Crime Laboratory in southern California, one of the leading forensic laboratories in the United States. The OC Crime Lab (OCCL) serves over 35 cities and organizations, with approximately 140 specialists, scientists, technical and support staff in the full-service forensic laboratory. The OCCL forensic lab achievements include: accreditation in 1992, the first ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation in California, one of the first breath alcohol calibration accreditations in the country, advancing the implementation of mature DNA batching systems, implementing a leading driving under the influence of drugs program, and other integrated forensic database programs, including biometrics and firearms. Bruce studied chemistry and physics as an undergraduate, and attended graduate school at the University of California of Irvine (chemistry) and Vanguard University (leadership).  He has worked at the OC Crime Laboratory for 28 years as a forensic scientist, and also teaches at Vanguard University part-time as an adjunct professor of chemistry and physics. Mr. Houlihan’s career involved most areas relating to forensic chemistry, and he was involved in many research projects regarding DNA population studies and applications to forensic DNA. Additionally, Mr. Houlihan has extensive experience in information systems, LIMS, and managing forensic scientific data. Mr. Houlihan has served as laboratory director since 2009, has over 10 years of service in crime laboratory leadership, participates in national dialogs regarding efficiency and crime laboratory casework norms, is serving on the NIST/OSAC Quality Infrastructure Committee, and serves on the board of the California Association of Crime Laboratory Directors (including as past president), along with other memberships, participations, and presentations in national forensic organizations.


Photo of Hon. Jackie Lacey















The Honorable Jackie Lacey
Los Angeles County District Attorney

District Attorney Jackie Lacey has spent most of her professional life as a prosecutor, manager, and
executive in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
On December 3, 2012, she was sworn in as the 42nd District Attorney. She set goals for the office that
will protect public safety, address jail overcrowding, target high-tech criminals, safeguard seniors from
financial abuse and bolster the prosecution of environmental crimes. She also has taken a leadership
role in the formation of Los Angeles County’s Criminal Justice Mental Health Project.
A Los Angeles native and graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, District Attorney
Lacey oversees roughly 1,000 lawyers, nearly 300 investigators and about 800 support staff employees.
She is the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney since
the office was established in 1850.
District Attorney Lacey joined the office in 1986 and was a front-line prosecutor for more than 14 years.
She won national attention for her successful prosecution of the county’s first raced-based hate crime
Starting in late 2000, she took on management and executive roles. Her duties included reviewing
nearly every major case the office prosecuted, serving on the office’s special circumstance committee
that reviews death penalty eligible cases and making high-level policy decisions affecting the pursuit of
justice and the management of the office.
She led the creation of several alternative sentencing courts to deal with specific nonviolent offenders:
the Los Angeles County Veterans Court, the Los Angeles County Women’s Reentry Court and the Los
Angeles County Co-Occurring Disorders Court.
In 2011, she was named chief deputy district attorney and was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day
operations of the office. She also considered federal, state and local legislation to determine the impact
on the county’s criminal justice system.
She has received many honors. In 2013, District Attorney Lacey was named to the “Power 100” by
Ebony magazine. She received the Trailblazer Award from the National Black Prosecutors Association;
the Benito Juarez Attorney of the Year Award from the Mexican American bar Association; the Loren
Miller Lawyer of the Year Award from the John M. Langston Bar Association; and the Distinguished
Professional in Public Service Award from the University of California, Irvine.
For five years, District Attorney Lacey dedicated one lunch hour a week to teaching fifth-graders at
Lorena Street Elementary School in Boyle Heights about the criminal justice system.
A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, and Dorsey High School, District Attorney Lacey began
her legal career as an associate in a small civil law firm. She then became a trial deputy in the Santa
Monica City Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Lacey and her husband, David, have two adult children.

Photo of Rhonda B. Saunders

















For the past 29 years, Ms. Saunders has been a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney. She has been assigned to the Sexually Violent Predator Unit since July, 2013. Other assignments with the District Attorney’s Office have included: Organized Crime/Anti-Terrorist Unit; Major Narcotics – Asset Forfeiture Division; HABLIT – Habeas Corpus Litigation Team; and Night Court.  Prior to her career as a lawyer, she had worked extensively in New York City and Los Angeles in theatre, opera, and film.

Ms. Saunders established S.T.A.T. (Stalking and Threat Assessment Team) for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the L.A. Stalking Task Force. Some of her many successful stalking and threat prosecutions include convicting Robert Hoskins of stalking and making terrorist threats against the entertainer Madonna; Fernando Rodarte of making threats against Los Angeles Supervisor Gloria Molina; Jonathan Norman of stalking Producer/Director Steven Spielberg;  Dante Soiu of stalking actress Gwyneth Paltrow;  Marlon Pagtakhan of cyberstalking Star Trek’s Producer Brannon Bragga and actress Jerri Ryan; and Mark Hatten who threatened Anna Nicole Smith and assaulted her elderly neighbor when he came to her defense.  Ms. Saunders obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of  Law  in 1982.


Ms. Saunders is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of stalking, workplace violence, and criminal threats.  In 2005, she was  invited by the government of Germany to lecture at that country’s first Stalking Symposium, which was held in Kassel, Germany on November 11, 2005. She has lectured to prosecutors, law enforcement, and victim advocacy groups in such places as Alaska, California, New Mexico, Louisiana, New York, Washington, D.C., Canada and Great Britain. During 1998 through 2004 she was on the faculty of the United States Secret Service Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) in their training division. In 1994, she revised California’s Stalking Law Penal Code Section 646.9, so that law enforcement and the courts can now effectively protect victims from this crime; in 1997 she wrote Penal Code Section 646.92, which allows law enforcement to issue emergency restraining orders in stalking and workplace violence cases; and in 2000 she increased the penalties for aggravated stalking. Ms. Saunders is Past- President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP). In August 2000, she was awarded the National Achievement Award by ATAP; in 2001 she was given the Woman of Distinction Award by Soroptimist International in recognition of her contributions to combating stalking and workplace violence.

Recent media appearances have included: The Ricki Lake Show, Good Morning America, 360 With Anderson Cooper, The Joy Behar show, The Insider, The Today Show; Dr. Phil show; CNN – “Issues With Jane Velez Mitchell”, CNN – “ Nancy Grace Show”, Extra; Inside Edition, CBS News – Katy Couric; Court TV, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood; Showtime Cable’s “The Making of the Fan”;  E-Entertainment Network Documentary “The Stalking and Killing of Rebecca Schaeffer”; Eclipse Productions: a twelve part documentary on stalking airing in Europe; MSNBC; and BBC’s “Stalking the Stalker”. She is also specially featured in the DVD reissue of “Misery”. She has starred in Court TVs production of “Reasonable Fear” and “The Investigators, based on eleven of Ms. Saunders stalking prosecutions. In February, 2013, she was featured on the Discovery Channel’s weekly network series, Stalked: Someone’s Watching. “Stalkers”, a two hour Lifetime Movie of the Week, based on her book “Whisper of Fear” was aired on April 13, 2013, and is currently being developed for a series.  Her website,  has reached near to  50,000 people.

Ms. Saunders has published articles on stalking and workplace violence in the Entertainment edition of the L. A. Lawyer Magazine, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department monthly magazine Star News.  Her chapter, “Stalking From A Legal Perspective,” appears in the book, The Psychology of Stalking, edited by Dr. J. Reid Meloy, published by Academic Press (May, 1998). In July, 2008, her chapter, “Psychological Issues Involved in the Prosecution of Celebrity Stalking Cases,” was published in Stalking, Threats and Attacks Against Public Figures, edited by J.R. Meloy, L. Sheridan, and J. Hoffman, Oxford Press. 


Photo of Laura Mosqueda


Laura Mosqueda M.D, Associate Dean of Primary Care, Chair and Professor, Family Medicine and Geriatrics School of Medicine, UCI,

Director, National Center on Elder Abuse Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Dr. Mosqueda also holds the Ronald W. Reagan Endowed Chair in Geriatrics.  She has been the principal investigator on multiple grants focusing on the areas of elder abuse, dementia, and medical education.  She has extensive experience in the field with elder victims of abuse and interdisciplinary teams. In 2003 she founded the Orange County Elder Abuse Forensic Center, the first of its kind in the country. She co-directs the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine and is co-director of the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Photo of Billie Weiss















Billie Weiss, MPH

Associate Director, Southern California Injury Prevention Research Center, UCLA School of Public Health

Former director of the L.A. County Department of Health Services Injury and Violence Prevention Program and acting Director and founder of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles. She has authored numerous papers, three book chapters, and frequently makes presentations to scientific, professional and community conferences and meetings. Ms. Weiss recently co-authored the Advancement Project Report on Reducing Gang and Youth Violence in Los Angeles. She received a BS from Cal. State Fullerton, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from UCLA.  Ms. Weiss’ primary emphasis is “Violence as a Public Health Issue”, including the epidemiology of gang homicides and assaults, intimate partner violence, pedestrian injuries among pre-school children, iron poisoning, drowning, evaluation of programs to reduce teen relationship and gang violence, and parenting for violence prevention.


Photo of John S. Yoshida












John S. Yoshida is the Chief of CA Bureau of Forensic Services.  He has been active in the Forensic field for over 30 years and was the Laboratory Director in charge of the Central Valley Laboratory.  He currently oversees over 450 employees and thirteen state laboratories.  His accomplishments include casework in the areas of controlled substance analysis, firearms, blood alcohol analysis and interpretation, serology, crime scene reconstruction, and trace (hair, paint, glass, fiber, volatiles, and gunshot residue).  He has been in management for 15 years as a supervisor, manager and now chief as well as an assessor for American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Lab Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).  He has been in involved in formulating and implementing policy throughout the Bureau of Forensic Services.  He has also taught classes in controlled substances and trace analysis through the CA Criminalistics Institute (CCI) and has given presentations at CA Association of Criminalists (CAC), CACLD, and ASCLD.