Road Scholar : Home
CSI in Fact and Fiction

Program Number: 16038RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/6/2013 - 10/9/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Woodland Hills, California
Price starting at: $499.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Science & Nature
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

In the city that was home to Philip Marlowe, Jack Webb and O.J. Simpson, confront a challenging mix of fact and fiction in the world of crime. A criminal forensics expert compares and demonstrates real-life methods of crime scene investigation to those shown on “CSI” television programs. Interact with a forensic handwriting specialist.




Highlights

• Meet with mystery writers to discuss how they create their riveting stories, literary crime scenes, and a mix of truth and fiction.
• Explore the culturally rich, occasionally sordid, cityscape of Los Angeles by bus, in hot pursuit of yet more crime scenes, both real and fictitious.
• Participate in a "murder" at dinner on the final evening.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two blocks during bus field trip.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Woodland Hills

Founded as the town of Girard in 1922, Woodland Hills is a district in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Renamed in 1941 in honor of the many trees planted by town founder Victor Girard Kleinberger, the community is a short distance from Southern California's biggest attractions, including Universal Studios, the Getty Center and Hollywood.



Accommodations
Full-service hotel in the San Fernando Valley, near LA’s world-class museums and other cultural attractions.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel
  Woodland Hills, California 3 nights
 Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This full-service, 15-story hotel is located within Warner Center in Woodland Hills. The Hilton Woodland Hills hotel offers modern amenities in the warm, Southern-California climate and is situated near major Los Angeles attractions including Universal Studios, The Getty Center, Malibu Beach and Hollywood. Its 326 guestrooms are the largest in the area. The hotel is within walking distance of many fine restaurants, entertainment venues, and premier shopping including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom's.
  Contact info: 6360 Canoga Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91367 USA
phone: 818-595-1000
web: www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/BURWCHF-Hilton-Woodland-Hills-Los-Angeles-California/index.do
  Room amenities: Large, classically appointed guest rooms measure over 300 sq. ft. and feature cherry furniture; 37" LCD HDTV with premium channels and pay-per-view movies; Hilton Alarm Clock Radio with MP3 connection; work-size desk with ergonomic chair; and two-line speakerphones with voicemail. Rooms feature pillow-top mattress, down-filled comforter, Touch of Down pillows and soft sheets. Other guestroom amenities include a coffee maker with complimentary Lavazza coffee, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, and daily newspaper delivery. 800 and calling-card phone calls are free. Room accommodates up to four guests (with rollaway bed).
  Facility amenities: The hotel provides guests with complimentary access to its Fitness Center by Precor located on the 3rd floor of the hotel; a business center with free computer and high-speed Internet access; ATM; baggage storage; bell service; dry cleaning service; gift shop; Guest Activity Desk; ice/vending machines; on-site convenience store; valet parking; safety deposit box at the front desk (not in room); and shuttle service. The hotel features the Brasserie Restaurant for a casual atmosphere in which to savor the fresh flavors of California cuisine and Fitzgerald's Lounge for beverages and entertainment. The Cheesecake Factory and Arnie Morton's Steakhouse, located next door to the hotel, offer additional choices of hearty meals and sweet treats. Room service is also available for private dining. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: High-speed wireless internet service is available throughout the hotel and guests rooms for a daily fee. You may sign up for wireless internet service at the front desk upon check-in or at any time during your stay. You will receive a special password for your device(s) and your credit card will be charged the appropriate fees upon check-out. Valet parking is available at the hotel for $10 per night. Overnight self-parking is available in an adjacent parking structure for $9 per night Friday through Saturday, and $14 per night Sunday through Thursday.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $89/night Call Matthew Ing directly at the Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel, 9am to 5pm, Mon–Fri, at (818) 596-4569 to make your reservation for additional nights before or after the program (up to 3 nights before and 3 nights after the program).
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $89/night Call Matthew Ing directly at the Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel, 9am to 5pm, Mon–Fri, at (818) 596-4569 to make your reservation for additional nights before or after the program (up to 3 nights before and 3 nights after the program).
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is in the hotel lobby from 4:00-5:00PM. Orientation begins at 5:15PM, dinner at 6:00PM and self introductions after dinner. You will be staying at Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Please arrange your transportation so you can join us for the final class which ends at 10:00AM. You will be staying at Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Valet parking is available at the hotel at a special rate of $10 per night. Overnight self-parking is also available in an adjacent parking structure for $9 per night Friday through Saturday, and $14 per night Sunday through Thursday.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Woodland Hills, California
  Nearest city or town:  Tarzana and Van Nuys
  Nearest highway: Highway 101
  Nearest airport:  Burbank (Bob Hope International Airport) (BUR)
  From End of Program
  Location: Woodland Hills, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Amtrak/Union Station LA to Hilton Woodland Hills

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
LA Metro
phone: 323-466-3876

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$1.50
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About one hour 

 

Distance:

 

About 33 miles

   

FROM UNION STATION in LA, one may take the Red Line light rail train to the North Hollywood Station (14 mi./23 min). From there, passengers may transfer to the Orange Line bus which runs on a dedicated bus lane to the stop at 6770 Canoga Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91303 (16 mi./35 min). This stop is about 4 blocks (0.5 miles) from the hotel. The one-way fare is $1.50. For LA bus and rail transit information, call 323.GO.METRO (323-466-3876) or visit www.metro.net/

 

Amtrak/Pacific Surfliner/Chatsworth Station to Hilton Woodland Hills

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
LA Yellow Cab
phone: 800-829-4222

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Estimated at $20-25 one-way. Call for quote.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About 15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles from Amtrak-Chatsworth Station to the hotel

   

The closest Amtrak station to hotel is 10040 Old Dept Plaza Rd, Chatsworth 91311. This station serves Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner route as well as the nearby Metrolink Ventura County train line (Union Station/LA to East Ventura). FROM AMTRAK CHATSWORTH STATION, best way to hotel is by taxi. Other taxi options: www.ValleyTownCar.com or 818-793-8070; www.LAcitycab.com or 888-248-9222 or 818-780-1000. Visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-872-7245. For LA transit information, visit www.metro.net

 

Los Angeles (LAX) to Woodland Hills

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Prime Time Shuttle
phone: 800-733-8267
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Around $41 per passenger for shared van service.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 45-60 minutes or more depending upon traffic and time of day. 

 

Distance:

 

About 24 miles from LAX to the Woodland Hills hotel

   

Website: www.primetimeshuttle.com for online reservations and exact fares. PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Advance reservations required. Alternate passenger van service: SuperShuttle at 800-258-3826 or www.supershuttle.com Call both shuttle services to find out best rate.

 

Burbank (BUR) to Woodland Hills

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Prime Time Shuttle
phone: 800-733-8267
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Around $24 per passenger for shared van service. CALL FOR CURRENT RATES.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 35 minutes or more depending upon traffic and time of day. 

 

Distance:

 

14 miles from Burbank Airport to hotel

   

Website: www.primetimeshuttle.com for online reservations and exact fares. Advance reservations are required. PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Alternate passenger van service: SuperShuttle at 800-258-3826 or www.supershuttle.com

 

FlyAway Bus from LAX to Van Nuys Airport to Hilton Woodland Hills

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
LAX FlyAway Bus Service
phone: 866-435-9529

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$7 p/p one-way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow up to 45 minutes or more depending on traffic and time of day. 

 

Distance:

 

24 miles from LAX to Van Nuys Bus Terminal

   

The FlyAway bus is a cheaper way to go from LAX to Van Nuys, near Woodland Hills. The Flyaway bus terminal is located at 7610 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys. To get to the Hilton Woodland Hills from there, take a cab or walk 1.5 mi south to the LA Metro Orange Line bus stop at 6380 Woodley Ave./Victory Blvd. Take the westbound Orange Line bus to the stop at 6770 Canoga Ave., Canoga Park. Walk about 4 blocks (0.5 miles) to the hotel. One-way fare is $1.50. For LA transit information, visit www.metro.net/

 
Driving Directions
  From 101 Ventura Freeway North/West to Woodland Hills From the 101 Westbound, take the Canoga Ave exit and turn right onto Canoga Ave upon exiting the freeway. The hotel is located one mile north on Canoga Ave and is on your right.
  From 101 Ventura Freeway South/East to Woodland Hills From the 101 Eastbound, take the Ventura Blvd/Topanga Canyon exit and travel East on Ventura Blvd. Turn left at Canoga Ave. The hotel is located one mile north on Canoga Ave and is on your right.
  From 405 Freeway North to Woodland Hills From the 405 Freeway North, merge onto US 101 North towards Ventura. Go 8 miles and exit at Canoga Ave. Turn right on Canoga Ave and go one mile north. The hotel will be on your right.
  From 405 Freeway South to Woodland Hills From the 405 Freeway South, merge onto 101 North towards Ventura. Go 8 miles and exit at Canoga Ave. Turn left at Canoga Ave. The hotel is located one mile north on Canoga Ave and is on your right
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals/Introductions
(Sunday, October 6)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into the hotel after 3:00PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: Begins before dinner. We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel

NOTE FOR ALL MEALS: Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants.

Since meals are served in a group setting, it is difficult to adjust to individual dietary requests. If you are unable to eat what is on the regular menu, a vegetarian alternative is available, if not already part of the menu. Since alternative meal arrangements have to be made in advance, please indicate your need for a vegetarian entree on the enclosed Participant Information Form. If you have other dietary concerns, you can order (at your own expense) from a different menu.

 Evening: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

   
Accommodations: Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to CSI/Mystery Writing Theme
(Monday, October 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: The Real Crime Scene: Fact vs. Fiction

A criminal forensics expert will compare real life methods of crime scene investigation to those shown on popular 'CSI' television programs.

CLASS: The Literary Crime Scene: What, Why, and a Little How To

A noted author will share personal motivations and anecdotes about writing crime fiction.

 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: CLASS: Collecting Evidence from the Crime Scene: You'll Never Believe What You Can Retrieve from What They Leave

HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: Collecting Evidence from the Crime Scene: You'll Never Believe What You Can Retrieve from What They Leave

Now it is YOUR turn to lift fingerprints and other evidence from the scene of the crime!

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
   
Accommodations: Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Panel Discussion with Mystery Writers/Field Trip
(Tuesday, October 8)

Note: Field trip on the bus involves several stops and limited walking on flat terrain. Dining room for lunch on field trip may involve a flight of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: Sisters and Brothers in Crime: Where Fact and Fiction Can Co-exist

Join a panel discussion between authors and criminalists. Maybe get some ideas for your own novel!

FIELD TRIP: The Real (?) Los Angeles: Returning to the Scenes of Infamous Crimes

The title says it all. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling city while you hear about dastardly deeds and see where they took place.

 Lunch: Lunch at Vitello's --- Robert Blake was accused of shooting Bonny Lee Bakley, his wife of only six months, outside his favorite Studio City restaurant, Vitello's.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: The Real (?) Los Angeles: Returning to the Scenes of Infamous Crimes continues after lunch.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
   
Accommodations: Hilton Woodland Hills Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Handwriting Analysis Presentation/Independent Departures
(Wednesday, October 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: Class: Forensic Handwriting Examination: Who Wrote it and What Makes Them Tick?

HOTEL CHECK OUT: This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed our CSI In Fact and Fiction program and will join us for other rewarding adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Woodland Hills, California Hotel Vicinity
The Westfield Topanga Mall is within walking distance of the hotel. Shoppers can take their pick from two stories of shops, restaurants and entertainment options. There are many dining options including Ruth's Chris, Corner Bakery, P.F. Chang's and Maggiano's. Movies are available at the AMC 16 Theatres, a top-flight multiplex with stadium seating. The Mall is located at 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
  Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
While there are no major tourist destinations or attractions in Woodland Hills, the city adjoins the greater Los Angeles area which offers visitors a wide range of activities and attractions. To learn more, we suggest you contact the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau website and download, view or order travel guides and tourism information. Mailing address: LACVB, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028. Phone: (323) 467-6412 For additional information, visit www.discoverlosangeles.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


DAZZLED: A Nikki Easton Mystery


Author: Maxine Nunes


Description: Nikki Easton, who'd once been a teenage runaway, is struggling to build a career in acting when a single event--the disappearance of her closest friend Darla Ward--draws her into a world more perilous than the life she had escaped. During a late summer L.A. heat wave, four people are murdered in the Hollywood Hills, and Darla might be one of the victims. Nikki is no stranger to life's brutality, but she has never seen anything like the battered girl on the gurney at the morgue. Could this face, so bruised it looks barely human, really be Darla, a talented beauty on the verge of stardom? In her relentless search for the truth, Nikki discovers the hidden side of her friend's life, laying bare secrets buried before Darla was born, and uncovering widening layers of corruption that reach far beyond the film world to the highest levels of government. "Nothing is as it seems in Dazzled, Maxine Nunes' dark and vivid tale about the underside of the Hollywood dream. Surprising and sizzling." --Dianne Emley, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of Love Kills



The Stratford Conspiracy: An Amelia Watson Mystery


Author: Michael Mallory


Description: The Second Mrs. Watson is back on the case! This time the intrepid Amelia Watson finds herself in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, seeking to help the sister of a lifelong friend with a family crisis. Before long, she, her trouble-prone chum Harry Benbow, and new acquaintance, a neophyte Canadian detective, all become enmeshed in a web of intrigue centering on shocking evidence proclaiming that Queen Elizabeth I was William Shakespeare! The adventure begins with the murder of an American Shakespearean scholar in London, and travels all the way to William Shakespeare’s grave in an ancient church on the banks of the gently-flowing Avon. In the process, Amelia is forced to admit that she may finally have taken on a case that is too puzzling and too deadly for her to solve; and worse, that she may become the next victim of the ruthless murderer that is stalking Stratford.



Coldwater


Author: Diana Gould


Description: Brett Tanager is the writer/producer of a hit TV detective show until the mistakes of one dreadful night send her life skidding out of control into a downward spiral that takes her job, family, savings and self-respect. At her lowest ebb she is approached by Julia, her sixteen-year-old former stepdaughter whose best friend Caleigh has disappeared. It seems Julia's classmates, young daughters of Hollywood's elite, were "partying" with high rollers for a thousand bucks a night, and now Caleigh is missing, her parents are lying, and Julia is terrified. But not as terrified as Brett when Caleigh's naked corpse turns up and Julia goes missing. Brett's attempt to find Julia plunges her into a dark, disturbing journey through moneyed Hollywood and its sinister undersides. Now she must find resources other than drink to overcome her fears, as she is pitted against the cunning of a ruthless killer, and a web of deceit in which the darkest secrets may be her own.



Strawberry Yellow (A Mas Arai Mystery)


Author: Naomi Hirahara


Description: Watsonville, California, is not only a mecca for strawberry growers, but also the birthplace of Japanese American Mas Arai, who returns in another entry in this quietly entertaining mystery series. The curmudgeonly septuagenarian journeys to Watsonville to attend the funeral of his cousin Shug, part of a group of youths with whom Mas lived when he returned to America after the bombing of Hiroshima. In the ensuing years, cousin Shug had become a renowned strawberry breeder and was poised to introduce a new blight-resistant berry, curiously named after Mas himself. With competition among local breeders running high, could Shug’s death be murder? And why, after all these years apart and all his success, would Shug name his revolutionay fruit after a very “unspectacular” L.A. gardener? Mas, less an amateur detective than a cranky, accidental one, is what makes the story work. His obdurance, his skill as a listener, and even his broken English are charming in a quirky, uncomplicated way that makes up for a perhaps less dramatic tale than the previous series entries. --Stephanie Zvirin for BOOKLIST



What She Saw (Forensic Handwriting Mysteries)


Author: Sheila Lowe


Description: This novel of psychological suspense follows a young woman through the terrifying labyrinth of amnesia, where no one is who or what they appear to be. In What She Saw, Claudia Rose, Zebediah Gold, and Joel Jovanic of Sheila Lowe's equally captivating Forensic Handwriting Mystery series play an important role in unraveling the web of mystery.



Writing Mysteries


Author: Sue Grafton


Description: The mystery, like other stories, relies on believable characters, a strong narrative, and crisp prose. But it is also "a way of examining the dark side of human nature," says Writing Mysteries editor Sue Grafton. The book's 37 contributors ponder everything from brainstorming ideas to dealing with editors. Jeremiah Healy jump-starts the book with a piece that considers the unwritten "rules" of mystery writing. Stuart Kaminsky discusses research--experts, it turns out, are just waiting for you to contact them--and Sandra Scoppettone discusses vivid villains. Sara Paretsky contemplates the pitfalls of using a recurring hero, and Michael Connelly contributes a fine piece on characterization. "The best crime novels," Connelly says, "are not about how a detective works on a case; they are about how a case works on a detective." Other chapters focus on amateur sleuths, convincing dialogue, depiction of violence, and specialty genres. The book's short chapters form a sort of mystery writer's antipasti plate. Some won't resonate, while others will leave you wishing you had a larger serving. An ideal primer for mystery writers. --Jane Steinberg



Crime Scene Evidence Photographer's Guide, 2nd ed.


Author: Steven Staggs


Description: The Crime Scene and Evidence Photographer's Guide, 2nd Edition is designed to be a field reference for those responsible for photography at the crime scene. It may be used by law enforcement officers, investigators, and crime scene technicians. It contains instructions for photographing a variety of crimes scenes and various types of evidence. It is a valuable reference tool when combined with training and experience. The Crime Scene and Evidence Photographer's Guide is also a helpful resource for students and others interested in entering into the field of crime scene investigation.





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