Community Comparative Languages Faculty Forensic Linguistics Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Liberal Arts School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts

Language as Evidence in Kidnapping, Threat, and Stalking Cases, Nov. 30 in NYC

In a kidnapping case in Illinois in the mid-1980s, the ransom note read: “Put [the cash] in the green trash kan on the devil strip.”

Hofstra University professor Dr. Tammy Gales, an expert in analysis of threat and stalking letters, will present An Examination of Linguistic Evidence in Threat Cases, to explain how forensic linguistics were used in the investigation of this case and others like it at a workshop at the Round K cafe, 99 Allen Street, on the Lower East Side on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Gales has trained police and intelligence experts in these analytical techniques in several countries. This event is presented by the ThinkOlio series.

Dr. Tammy Gales
Dr. Tammy Gales

When crimes are committed and emails, ransom notes, texts, or letters are among the evidence left behind, experts in forensic linguistics may be brought in to consult with law enforcement to help identify or come up with a profile of the perpetrator. High profile examples include the anthrax-laced letters that were sent to news media and two US senators the week after the 9/11 attacks and the ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama, NYC Mayor Bloomberg, and ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ Director Glaze.

The study of forensic linguistics – the examination of language and the law – is increasingly being used as a tool of legal professionals, law enforcement, and the intelligence community. Hofstra’s MA degree in Linguistics with specialization in the emerging science of forensic linguistics is the first program of its kind in the United States.

For more information on the November 30 talk or to RSVP visit ThinkOlio.

About the author

Ginny Greenberg

Ginny Greenberg is director of public relations and an alumna of Hofstra University.

Email her at prpgse@hofstra.edu .

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