Robert Leonard

Robert Leonard Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan

Those who can’t get enough of CSI-type television shows – and who perhaps entertain ideas of experiencing what it’s like to work in such crime-busting venues, only in real life – can consider a continuing education class being offered Saturday at Hofstra: “CSI: Case Studies in Forensic Linguistics.”

It’s a hands-on session taught by Rob Leonard, Hofstra professor who also works with profilers at the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico.

But don’t get hyped up to deal with blood samples or snippets of fabric. In this class you’ll see how cases get solved through the analysis of words and sentence structure in notes, letters, e-mail etc. (See Leonard’s explanation in this Discovery video.)

With coaching from Leonard, class participants can pick up some “tricks of the trade” and take a crack at solving some of the puzzling crime scenarios he’s worked on. Those who really take to the game of cat-and-mouse using nouns and verbs can consider a more advanced class taught in the fall.

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