Dr. John R. Cencich, a former war crimes investigator and co-host of the History Channel’s docuseries “Hunting Hitler,” will present a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 in Myles Center for the Arts on the Davis & Elkins College campus. The free event is sponsored by the D&E Criminology Department and Office of Academic Affairs.
A former senior United Nations war crimes investigator based in The Hague, Cencich led a team of some of the world’s top police investigators through one of the largest international criminal investigations in history. His discussion will focus on his work with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and how their efforts resulted in the indictment of then-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and the naming of 15 major co-perpetrators in a joint criminal enterprise. Cencich’s team was among the first in history to bring a sitting head-of-state to stand trial on war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Cencich is the architect of the first professional Doctor of Criminal Justice degree in the United States and is currently a tenured full professor and director of the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences at California University of Pennsylvania.
Throughout his career, Cencich has served as the chair of the International Section and vice chair of the Law and Public Policy Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, as an active consultant to the National Institute of Justice and the United Nations, the Organized Crime Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Report on Wrongful Convictions.
Cencich holds advanced law degrees from the University of Kent at Canterbury and the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded a Doctor of Juridical Science degree, the highest degree in law, from the University of Notre Dame. He is an alumnus of executive education programs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also is the author of “The Devil’s Garden: A War Crimes Investigator’s Story” (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books).