Ashland, Ore., Forensics Lab Director Writes Crime Novels

Sep 9, 2014

Credit OPB

The man who heads the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, Ore, wears two hats. 

The director, Ken Goddard, a former deputy sheriff-criminalist with the Riverside County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department, established the Scientific Investigation Bureau for the Huntington Beach, Calif., Police Department, and spent 12 years of working illicit drug, burglary, robbery, and homicide crime-scene investigations.  The Wildlife Service hired him to create the national forensics laboratory that opened in Ashland in 1988.  The lab is the only one in the world exclusively dedicated to tracking down wildlife criminals. In the early 1990s, Goddard became a published novelist. His third book, titled “Balefire,” tells about a fictional terrorist bent on destroying Huntington Beach to stop the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. When it made the 1996 New York Times’s best-seller list, Goddard was leading investigations into billion-dollar, black-market international criminal enterprises trading in illicit wildlife hides, organs, and skins.   Goddard has published 11 novels, including “The Alchemist,” “First Evidence,” “Final Disposition,” and “Prey.” 

  Sources: "Ken Goddard: A Brief Personal History." Ken Goddard's Fiction-Writing Website. Ed. Ken Goddard. Web. 18 Aug. 2014. Battistella, Edwin. "The U.S. Fish & Wildlife's Forensics Lab." Edwin Battistella, “The Oregon Encyclopedia: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics. Portland State University and Oregon Historical Society, 2014. Web. 18 Aug. 2014