Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2016

Feb. 18, 2016

OSU-CHS forensic psychologist to be honored by American Academy of Forensic Sciences


Richard Walter, Scholar-in-Residence of forensic sciences at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and world-renowned pioneer in crime scene assessment, has been selected as a recipient of the Paul W. Kehres Meritorious Service Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

“We are pleased that the academy is recognizing Richard Walter for his contributions to forensic sciences,” said Robert W. Allen, Ph.D., head of the School of Forensic Sciences at OSU-CHS. “His presence at OSU-CHS has enhanced the forensic sciences program as well as our students’ educational experience and he has been active with regional and local law enforcement in providing assistance with cold case investigations.”

The prestigious award is intended to honor exceptional service and leadership within the academy. The multi-disciplinary professional organization works to advance the application of science in the legal system and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences. The award will be presented during the group’s 68th annual Scientific Meeting on Feb. 24 in Las Vegas.

As an international expert on crime assessment, profiling and risk evaluation, Walter created a matrix as a tool for investigation using pre-crime, crime and post-crime behaviors to aid in identifying suspects. He is noted for providing the psychological profile of notorious murderer John List that led to the killer’s capture after 18 years in hiding.

Walter co-founded The Vidocq Society, an exclusive club of more than 80 forensic specialists worldwide who assist local criminal justice agencies in solving cold cases. He and the society were profiled in the 2010 book, “The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases.”

Walter co-wrote a groundbreaking article, “Profiling Killers: A Revised Classification Model for Understanding Sexual Murder” and used the Homicide Information Tracking Unit (HITS), a database that lists characteristics of violent crimes so that common threads could be investigated.

He spent 22 years as a prison psychologist for the Michigan Department of Corrections and is an international crime consultant, a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in clinical forensic medicine and an honorary member of the Association of Police Surgeons.

Walter has presented more than 100 professional papers primarily to police departments on a variety of topics, including autoeroticism, bite marks and sadism.

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