Keynote Announced: From Evidence to Narrative: The Convergence of True Crime Media and DNA Forensics

This year’s keynote spotlights the dynamic intersection of true crime and DNA forensics: from unraveling mysteries and personal narratives to inspiring change and advancing justice. Our panel of speakers will share their insights and experiences, underscoring the pivotal role of DNA in connecting the past with the present and shaping the future.



Dr. Anna Barbaro will explore the influence of the true crime phenomenon on the increasing number of women entering the forensic profession. She’ll discuss how true crime media has not only raised public awareness of forensic science but also inspired a diverse new generation of scientists, especially women, to pursue careers in this field.


Professor Turi King will share her experiences from the BBC Two show “DNA Family Secrets,” where she uses DNA testing to solve deeply personal family mysteries, find missing relatives, and uncover hereditary illnesses. She’ll discuss the emotional and scientific aspects of these investigations, highlighting the power of DNA in connecting past and present. King’s talk will also touch on the broader implications of these discoveries, including ethical considerations and the impact on individuals’ identities and family histories. This talk will showcase how genetic genealogy is not just a tool for academics but a bridge that connects individuals to their personal and familial narratives, weaving a compelling story of science, history, and human emotion.


Ashley Flowers will take the audience on a journey through her evolution from one of the first true crime podcasters to the founder of Season of Justice. She’ll delve into her initial motivations for starting the “Crime Junkie” podcast, discussing how her passion for true crime and storytelling led her to this path. Ashley will share her experiences and challenges in creating engaging yet respectful true crime content, highlighting her unique approach to storytelling. Moving beyond podcasting, she will discuss the inception of Season of Justice, a non-profit organization aimed at providing financial resources to law enforcement agencies and families to help solve cold cases. She will explain how her work in podcasting revealed the often-overlooked need for resources in cold case investigations and how this realization prompted her to take action.

Ashley’s talk will provide insights into the transformative power of media in driving social change, exemplifying how passion and public engagement can evolve into tangible action in the field of justice and forensics. Her story is a testament to the impact that one individual can have in bringing attention to cold cases and aiding in their resolution, bridging the gap between public fascination and active contribution to the field of forensic science and criminal justice.


Registration is now open for ishi 35! to learn more about the speakers and view their social media channels, click below.


Learn More About the Speakers