Tina McMenamin, 18 year old University of Nebraska- Lincoln, was murdered nearly 25 years ago. Prosecutors, using DNA and other evidence, charged Gregory Gabel with McMenamin’s murder. Then, two years into the case, a second DNA test excluded Gabel and prosecutors dismissed the case. Since then, nobody has been convicted in the young women's murder. University of Nebraska's Forensic Science professors, Dr. Adamowicz and Professor Barksdale, were able to revisit the case in an effort to find evidence for her killer.
The UNL Forensic and Entomology Departments has conducted pig research the last two summers to observe how insect species visit the bodies of deceased pigs in different scenarios (control, hanging, in the trunk of a car, and clothed). At a death scene, insects visit a body in a fairly predictable pattern, or succession. Knowing what insects are associated with which stage of decomposition can help law enforcement in the field determine post mortem interval and help in solving crimes.
Kate Reno earned her degree in Forensic Science with a concentration in CSI in 2016. She landed a job at Wells Fargo in Home Mortgage, which got her into the "financial realm" to eventually get a job at US Bank in the Anti-Money Laundering department. While in the AML, she reviewed customer accounts then alerted unusual activity to determine if it was indicative of potential money laundering. After about a year, she moved to the OFAC Sanctions Screening department where she reviewed individual transactions to see if there were hits against the OFAC sanctions list.
Justine Laviolette graduated from our program in Spring 2016 with a degree in Forensic Science and Insect Science and a minor in Philosophy. She landed a position working for Monsanto in the Bee Health Lab then started graduate school at UNL in 2017 in the Entomology department. Her future plans are to have a successful video program educating the public about science using puppets and parodies. She really appreciates how the Forensic Science program has given her a depth of knowledge in a variety of science backgrounds.
Professor Barksdale hosted the North Platte Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office on June 4th and 5th. It was an event where the officers learned about Advanced Forensic Photography and Digital Imaging!
On Friday, May 3rd 2019 the Forensic Science Program invited their 17 graduates and their families to participate in a special graduation reception held prior to the CASNR Salute to Graduates reception. They were recognized individually on topics including their hometown, scholarships, community involvment, and future career/ graduate school plans. They also enjoyed cake and a few forensic science prizes!
The UNL Forensic Science Program was featured in the news again, this time on local television news channell 10/11. The story ran on Monday November 5th and featured footage of the program's crime scene house along with interviews with Director Dr. Michael Adamowicz and Student Ambassador McKenzy Peterson. See the segment and read the accompanying article here.
UNL's Forensic Science crime scene house was featured in an article in Nebraska Today. Click here to read the article.
Scientists at University of Nebraska-Lincoln are conducting studies to understand the potential of the skin virome as trace evidence in forensic investigations. They are currently looking for 60 healthy adults (19 years of age or older).
During this study researchers plan to collect skin swabs at 5 different time points over the period of 6 months. The swab samples collected in this study will be used to evaluate the viral and bacterial populations of the skin of the participants and how these populations change over time and in response to the environment.
The Forensic Science Program at UNL welcomes Lecturer Dr. Emily Streetman to teach Human Remains in Forensic Science beginning this Fall 2018.
Dr. Streetman received her doctorate from the Michigan State University Department of Anthropology in 2018. Her research interests are in personal identification, skeletal trauma, and bioarchaeological biodistance.