Forensics, Grief & Loss, Healing, Recovery, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Dr. Neal Haskell, Forensic Entomologist

It took me a while to find Dr. Neal Haskell.  During my research if there’s a science that exist to determine the decedent’s time of death during an advanced stage of decomposition, I stumbled on the Caylee Anthony’s story.   He was one of the Forensic Entomologists who had determined Caylee Anthony’s approximate time of death. If you watch Investigation Discovery, you’ll learn that Forensic entomology is an application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters.

Dr. Neal Haskell
Dr. Neal Haskell

The LA County Department of Coroner hired a Forensic Anthropologist to help with Steve’s manner of death but she told me that after two days, it’ll be hard to determine the decedent’s time of death. The reason why I sought out Dr. Neal Haskell was because I believe that if he can determine Caylee Anthony’s post mortem interval, then he can help me find out at the very least,  Steve’s approximate time of death.  Three months is too long of a range and I hope that he can narrow down that for me.

There’s only a few board certified forensic entomologists in the US. You can find them here:

Dr. Haskell had been using bugs to help police in death investigations for over than 21 years in this field. He uses his knowledge of the life cycles of insects to determine time and location of death.  He is one of the proponents of this area of criminal investigation.  He coauthored the first textbook on Forensic Entomology for law enforcement with his mentor, E. Paul Catts which is “Entomology and Death.”

Dr. Haskell had been interested in bugs since he was a young child and he thought that it was just a natural progression for him to become Forensic Entomologist because of his background in farming for 15 years. At that time that he enrolled at Purdue University, Forensic Entomology was just at the early stages of being a viable solution for  law enforcements to aid in investigations. He was also featured in Dr. Michael Baden and Marion Roach’s book, “Dead Reckoning,” that relates stories of Dr. Haskell’s pig research and training in Rensselaer.

Currently, Dr. Haskell is a Professor of Forensic Science and Biology at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and still continues as a private international forensic entomology consultant to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across North America and in Europe. Also, he had been featured in television programs including The New Detectives, Discovery Channel, Secrets of Forensic Science, The Learning Channel, How Things Work, A&E, and Forensic Files on Court TV, National Geographic, and History Channel.

When he returned my phone call, I did my dance of joy (after talking to him). For the first time in weeks since Steve had been missing, I see a glimmer of hope.

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