The Willamette Heritage Center’s Fall Speakers Series launches Saturday, October 8, 2011 with a presentation by Western Oregon University history professor, Dr. Max Geier.  They Always Get their Man: Oregon State Police Seeking Real and Imagined Murders, 1943-1945 explores the early history of the Oregon State Police through two sensationalized murder investigations.  In early 1943, Dr. Joseph Beeman, Forensic Pathologist for the OSP led two manhunts that resulted in two wartime executions in a state previously renowned for its early opposition to the death penalty.  Both cases prompted frenzied petitions for clemency, raising questions about the likely innocence of the condemned.  The cases reopened concerns about the legitimacy of the death penalty, but solidified the reputation of the OSP as the standard for professional policing in Oregon. 

This opening lecture kick starts the series focused on a darker side of history.  Lectures are Saturday afternoons from 3-4:30 pm.  Admission is $5.00, $3.00 for members of the Willamette Heritage Center. 

October 8, 2011
They Always Get Their Man: Oregon State Police Seeking Real and Imagined Murderers, 1943-1945, Dr. Max Geier, WOU.

October 15
1844 Oregon Territory: Murder and Race Relations,  Samantha Reining
Interpreting Guilt: The Oregon Supreme Court Case of Foot You, Austin Schulz
The Case of Emma Hanna: From Prison to Asylum, Diane Huddleston

Presentations by WOU History Masters’ Students.

October 22, 2011
Society’s Reaction to the Harry Tracy Murdering Spree, Jeffery Sawyer
Interpreting Horror: Oregon News and Lynchings Between 1900-1910, Toni Rush

Presentations by WOU History Masters’ Students

October 29, 2011
The Witch’s Garden: The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales, Dr. Curtis Yehnert, WOU