CSI: Dallas

Former FBI Agent and Forensics Expert Dr. Irving Stone talks investigative medicine with STEM Honors and FDA students.


photo from the Star Telegram

Delta Flight 191 crashes just before landing at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. Dr. Irving Stone shared his experiences with STEM and FDA students including his work on the 1985 plane crash.

Lightning cracks across a pitch-black sky as thunder ominously rumbles in the distance. In late August of 1985, a thunderstorm blew through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The deluge slammed the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on that Friday night. Passengers continued to arrive and exit the airport with no thoughts other than the inconvenience of the thunderstorm on their carefully planned schedules. Little did they know that on that fateful night, the deadliest plane crash in the DFW area was to happen.

Getting a call in the middle of the night can be frightening to most people, but it is all in a day’s—or night’s—work for retired Dallas County Medical Examiner/Forensics Expert, Dr. Irving Stone. Dr. Stone visited with the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Honors Program and Future Doctors of America during activity period to share about his time with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office and the FBI.

photo from lessonslearned.faa.gov
He said, “On the night of that plane crash, I got a call as soon as it happened. I drove straight to DFW Airport, and I will never forget what the scene looked like.”

In the case of Delta Flight 191, Dr. Stone shared with the students how difficult it can be to work in the field of science known as Forensics. He spoke about how he had to work with the Chief Medical Examiner in Dallas to identify over 122 victims of the gruesome crash. He explained that it takes all kinds of science to solve the problems he encountered during his time in both the FBI and the Medical Examiner’s office.

Forensic Odontology helps identify bodies by matching the remains to teeth and dental records. Psychology helps to identify suspects and find out what their next moves may be. Dr. Stone also emphasized the importance of Biology and Genetics.

Dr. Stone said, “The best degree for someone interested in forensics would be Genetics or just the broad study of Biology. Forensics involves quite a bit of knowledge about humans and the human body.”

In his time with the FBI, Dr. Stone participated in hundreds of cases across the United States and even around the world. He got to practice his knowledge of ballistics, the science of projectiles and firearms, quite a bit. He shared with the students how to recreate a crime scene and how to think quickly on their feet. Dr. Stone told the students to read situations from every possible circumstance.

Senior Jordi Gile said, “I have always been interested in Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation. I want to investigate and solve crimes because it makes me feel like I am really helping someone out while I get to do something I love.”

Overall, Dr. Stone’s stories of mystery and intrigue captured the hearts of many students interested in pursuing a job in STEM, or specifically, forensics. STEM Director Mr. Dana Sedgass said, “It is always an honor to have these speakers take time off to share about their personal experience in different fields of science. It really encourages our kids to be more interested in science.”

By bringing in speakers that speak not only to a student’s brain, but also to their imagination, the STEM Honors Program inspires the students at Prestonwood Christian Academy to pursue diverse careers and learn more about fields of science they may have never heard of before.