BUWG Lunch & Learn: Forensic Genealogy Presentation

  • Starts: 12:00 pm on Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Ends: 1:30 pm on Thursday, January 17, 2019
Naming the Allenstown Oil Drum Victims: How Forensic Genealogists Identify the Unknown Dead

The worst case of unknown victims in the U.S. languished for over 30 years after three little girls and a very young woman were found in oil drums in a New Hampshire park. No conventional leads named them, but an amazing coincidence in a typical genealogy search revealed their killer and their names.

The technique for naming people through genealogy, the study of identity and kinship, has been taught at BU since 2009. Advances in DNA testing have made a powerful tool almost infallible. Melinde Lutz Byrne’s description of the case will illustrate many of the methods routinely used by genealogists to name, locate, or reunite family members.

Melinde is an anthropologist and archivist by training. She became a genealogist in 1976 after finding twins and triplets in her husband’s family. She was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists in 1993 and was invited to create a course for the BU Center for Professional Education in 2008. Since then, BU’s Genealogical Research Certificate Program has graduated over 4000 students and solved three American Jane or Baby Doe cases. Board certified since 2010, Melinde has been featured in the New York Times, on NPR, has spoken to international audiences, including the FBI CODIS administrators from 15 countries, and has consulted on local and state law enforcement cases, as well as for Metropol in the UK.

This event is free to Members. Registration required by Jan. 14. BUWG Host: Barbara Attianese

Speaker: Melinde Lutz Byrne, FASG, Metropolitan College
771 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor
Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center
Contact Organization:
BU Women's Guild (BUWG)

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