Forensic scientist and New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Black has published seven novels in the Theresa MacLean mystery series and two books as Elizabeth Becka (BS, Biology ’93) since 2005. Her latest, Unpunished is the sequel to That Darkness, which follows forensic expert Maggie Gardiner and homicide detective, Jack Renner as they solve a series of murders in Cleveland.
Becka’s idea for writing books took hold during the years she spent in the secretarial pool after graduating from John Carroll University with a degree in political science. She returned to Cleveland State with the goal of landing a job in forensics. “I always liked science and forensics is the best of both worlds,” she explained in a recent interview with CSU. Becka earned her bachelor of science degree from CSU in 1993, and went on to work for the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office where she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence. Currently, she is a latent print examiner and CSI for the Cape Coral Police Department in Florida, working mostly with fingerprints and crime scenes.
Becka has lectured at writers’ conventions and appeared on panels, and is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. As a forensic specialist, she is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, International Association for Identification and International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts. She is a Certified Latent Print Examiner and has testified in court as an expert witness over 65 times. Her books have been translated into six languages. Becka was recognized by the CSU Alumni Association as one the Fascinating 50 in 2015-2016.