Candidate Profile

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Criminology & Law Enforcement
Destinations & Ports
Forensics & CSI
History - General
Law & The Courts
Bill Rickett is a retired Ohio judge, former criminal trial attorney and former law professor who taught a broad range of topics. He presided over a diverse docket encompassing many areas of the law and forensic evidence was always an important component. Rickett earned a Bachelor of Science in education and a Master of Arts in broadcast journalism from The Ohio State University and was a history and political science teacher. While teaching full time, he earned his Juris Doctor cum laude from The University of Akron School of Law. He became a criminal trial attorney and gained extensive experience in the use of forensic evidence during his many years of private practice.

Rickett returned to the law school full time and served as assistant dean, professor of clinical law and director of the law school’s national championship mock trial team. His classes had a heavy focus on how to use and counteract the use of forensic evidence gathered at crime scenes. Hundreds of Rickett’s former students now practice throughout the country as prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys.

Rickett was appointed by Ohio’s governor to a judicial vacancy in Wayne County and he ran unopposed for a full term the following year. Now retired and sitting by assignment as an acting judge, he continues to teach as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy. Additionally, he has been a lecturer and facilitator for the Ohio Judicial College and the Ohio State Bar Association. In 2012, he was appointed to but declined a seat on the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau.

Rickett and his wife Kristy, a retired environmental planner for the Ohio Department of Transportation, live in rural Wayne County, Ohio with their cats and dog. Their daughter, a teacher, and her husband, their son, a judge and his wife and the Rickett’s five grandchildren all live nearby.


1. The CSI Effect – Why “Bones” and “CSI” Cause Juries To Expect Too Much at Trial.
When jurors watch too many television shows featuring “fictional forensics,” prosecutors have a much higher burden than “beyond a reasonable doubt” to overcome. Can they still secure convictions?

2. DNA – The Defense Rests.
Many innocent people have languished in prison for years or even come close to execution until DNA evidence freed them. How many more are out there? Several cases are examined.

3. Justice Delayed is Not Always Justice Denied.
How DNA and other forensic advances have been used to solve cold cases and finally bring justice to all parties.

4. Forensic Evidence: CSI – Is It Real Or Just Good Fiction?
This session explores the science behind the American and British crime dramas, what is fact and what is just good fiction.


1. The Meredith Kercher Murder Case – Was Justice Done?
In 2007, British student Meredith Kercher was murdered in her flat in Perugia, Italy. Her flat mate, American Amanda Knox, and others were tried for her murder in 2009 and convicted, retried in 2011 and acquitted and retried once more (in absentia) in 2013 – 2014. This lecture explores that case.

2. Trials Of The Century – O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, Sam Sheppard and Lizzie Borden.
These trials were media sensations in their day and continue to fascinate us now.

3. Top Trials of the Decade – Jodie Arias, George Zimmerman and Oscar Pistorious.
These trials are discussed without the emotion associated with their original coverage in the media.

4. Dzhokar Tsarnaev – Should He Have Been Tried by a Military Tribunal?
When accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured days after the April 15, 2013 bombing, a debate immediately began about whether he should be tried in an American courtroom or before a military tribunal. Even though he was tried and convicted in a Boston courtroom, would a military tribunal been more appropriate?

5. Women Behaving Badly.
This lecture shows that criminal behavior is not limited to the men.

6. When Your Case Needs a Real Fighter in the Courtroom, Hire Eric the Red.
Norway’s Viking culture contains the roots of the western world’s legal systems. This lecture traces the evolution of western law and legal systems from their Viking roots.

7. Mob Trials – Al Capone, Eliot Ness, Jimmy Hoffa and the Rest (A Four Part Series).
Mobsters and those who pursued and prosecuted them have fascinated us through the generations. These are their stories.

8. How Far Have We Come Since Devil’s Island?
Conditions on the French penal colony of Devil’s Island were harsh and brutal. How far have the western world’s treatment of crime and punishment come since then?


1. Ephesus
The history of this ancient city is recounted, from its founding in the 10th century B.C. through its rediscovery in modern times.

2. Mykonos
This lecture will explore this beautiful Greek island from ancient days through its time as a playground for the rich and famous.

3. Athens – Two Wonders of the World.
The Parthenon was a wonder of the ancient world. The Corinth Canal remains a wonder of the modern world. This lecture explores the construction of both.

4. Malta – One Tough People.
The people of this tiny Mediterranean island have endured prolonged sieges in the 16th and 20th centuries, but endured stronger than ever. This is their story.

5. Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii.
When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., it destroyed the bustling seaport of Pompeii, Italy within minutes. Large parts of Pompeii have been excavated and are now explored by thousands each year. One mystery remains – could it happen again?


1. Four Days of Naples.
In 1943, as Allied troops prepared for the invasion of mainland Italy, the citizens of Naples rose up and overthrew the Germans. This is their story.

2. From D-Day to V.E. Day – A Son Remembers His Father’s Journey.
The lecturer’s father, a W.W. II tank commander in the famed 741st Tank Battalion, landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day and fought across France and Germany until VE Day. These five lectures combine the historical record and personal diaries to construct a compelling personal story of tragedy and triumph.


1. Israel, the Early Years.
The history of Israel from the days of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac to the Middle Ages.

2. Israel, the Middle Ages to the Present.
The history of Israel to the present.

3. Terrorism – Has Israel Gotten it Right?
Large scale terrorism is relatively new to Europe and America, but Israel has lived with that threat since its founding in 1948. Can the west learn from their response to this now constant threat?


1. The Refugee Crisis – Does “Give Us Your Huddled Masses” Still Apply?
With millions fleeing the turmoil of the Middle East, can other nations absorb these refugees?

2. Terrorism – Does the Geneva Convention Still Apply?
Do captured terrorists have the same protection as POW’s or does a lesser standard apply?

3. Is the Death Penalty Still Viable in a Civilized World?
Only 37 nations, including the United States have retained the death penalty. Is it time for them to follow suit?


1. The Real Pirates of the Caribbean.
Fictional pirates of Hollywood are entertaining, but the real pirates of the Caribbean had stories even more amazing.

2. Female Pirates – Tougher Than the Men?
While Blackbeard and Calico Jack were brutal, Anne Bonny and Mary Read proved that female pirates could be just as ruthless.

3. The Pirate Legal System – Really!
The pirates of the Caribbean may have seemed like a lawless bunch, but in reality, they lived by a code that could be more rigid than most modern legal systems.

4. Pirate Treasure – Is It Still Out There?
Modern-day treasure hunters are finding millions of dollars of booty every year. How much is still out there?


1. The Bermuda Triangle.
Science has explained the strange happenings in this corner of the Atlantic, or has it?

2. A Short History of Bermuda.
From fun facts to the island’s role in W.W. II, the American Civil War and Prohibition, Bermuda has something for everyone.


1. Stupid Criminal Tricks.
The term “criminal genius” certainly does not apply to these people, like the burglar who left tracks in the newly-fallen snow from the crime scene to his own back door. This and other cases, many from the lecturer’s own courtroom, will keep the audience entertained.

2. Strangest Laws in the World.
From ancient times to today, governments have enacted laws which leave people asking, “What were they thinking?!” Many will be discussed.

3. Your Pet and the Law – When Your Best Friend May Not Be.
Pets enrich our lives, but sometimes they cause major legal issues ranging from injury to others, damage to neighbors’ property and injury to your pets by others, just to name a few. This lecture explores these and other issues.
I have lectured on over two dozen cruises on Azamara, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Crystal, Regent, Sea Dream, Victory, Celebrity, and Oceania (upcoming in July) cruise lines. My lectures are well-attended and usually grow throughout the cruises, often requiring moving to larger venues or repeating lectures to accommodate passenger demand. I am a retired Ohio judge, law professor and I was appointed to but declined a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Sky SK190922 Trade Routes of the Middle Ages 14 Bergen Sunday, September 22, 2019