Who? What? When? Where? Are these the words of a genealogist researching his family tree or a forensic scientist solving a mystery? Maybe someone who is both!
Forensic genealogy has established itself as the modern approach to family research. Forensic genealogy does not replace conventional methods of research, it enhances them. Established reference materials such as photographs, databases, and DNA can provide much more information than you ever dreamed, if only you keep your eyes open and use a little imagination. But are you using your genealogical materials to your best advantage?
The goal of this lecture is to spark your imagination to discover new ways of looking at your family mysteries, to permanently change the way you see things, to turn you into a forensic genealogist.
About our Speaker
Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, is a well-known Forensic Genealogist who consultants for major military and civilian organizations. She has been a key member of the AFDIL (Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory) team on the identification of the frozen arm and hand found in the wreckage of Northwest Flight 4422 that crashed in Alaska in 1948; the identification was featured worldwide in the print media and on MSNBC. She also worked with AFDIL on the identification of the remains of the Unknown Child of the Titanic.
She has consulted on the Misha Defonseca case, in which the author of the international bestseller Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust (known in Europe as Surviving with Wolves) was exposed as a fraud. Colleen is now the forensic genealogist for the possible discovery of the remains of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan on Gardener Island in the Pacific. Because she is highly multi-lingual with extensive international travel experience, she consults with county medical examiners and investment companies with an emphasis on international searches.
Colleen received her PhD in nuclear physics and her MS in physics from Duke University in Durham, NC. She received her BA in physics from Rice University. In the course of her scientific career, she taught at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, was a Member of the Technical Staff at Rockwell International, Seal Beach, CA, went on to work as a Senior Scientist at Spectron Development Laboratories in Costa Mesa, CA. In 1989 when she was laid off at the beginning of the aerospace downturn, Colleen founded her own high-tech optics company Rice Systems in her garage, through which she contracted with NASA, The US Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other government and civilian organizations. In 2005 Rice Systems was chosen to design the sensors on the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) project, the next spacecraft to Jupiter. When the program was canceled in favor of a lunar probe, Colleen retired temporarily, only to become the author of three of the best-selling books in genealogy, and a world-famous forensic genealogist.