NEAL HASKELL, PhD
International Forensic Entomology Consultant
Dr. Neal Haskell, after farming for over 15 years, entered a new graduate program at Purdue University to study how insects could be used to answer questions at murder scenes. His initial interest in “bugs” began with a 4-H project, age 11. He completed a Master's of Science Degree with the focus in Forensic Entomology in 1989 (the first such degree in the country) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree with Forensic Entomology (also the first in U.S.) as the specific area of study in 1993. He has given hundreds of scientific lectures, seminars and training classes, world-wide to provide coroners, medical examiners, death scene investigators, and others with valuable information regarding entomological evidence from death scenes. Neal has been featured in a number of books and in over 150 news articles, books, and other news media. In a book by Dr. Michael Baden and Marion Roach, Dead Reckoning, an entire chapter is devoted to stories of Dr. Haskell, the pig research and training in Rensselaer, and interesting case studies.
Dr. Haskell is a Professor of Forensic Science and Biology at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and also continues as a private international forensic entomology consultant to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across North America and in Europe. He holds adjunct appointments at Michigan State University and the University of Nebraska. He has board certification as a Board Certified Entomologist and is one of nine members as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology.
Some of the agencies that he has worked with over the years include the Indiana State Police, FBI, Office of the Chief Coroner, Ontario Canada, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, New York State Police, and Seattle Washington Medical Examiner's Office. During this work over the past 21 years he has assisted in nearly 700 cases which have had questions regarding insects. He has been accepted and recognized as an expert witness in both state and federal courts and has qualified as an expert in 27 states in the U.S. and regional and provincial courts in Canada. He has given testimony in approximately 100 trial and hearings, many were capital murder cases. Some of the most notable cases include the Bernardo/Homolca trial, the most highly publicized trial in Canadian history and the Westerfield trial in San Diego (Danielle Van Dam murder). He also assisted in insect collections at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco Texas and the criminal investigation of the Scientology Group in Clearwater, Florida. Research was conducted by Dr. Haskell and others at the University of Tennessee, Body Farm where actual human corpses were compared to pig corpses for establishing a replacement for humans in decomposition and forensic entomology studies needed across the U.S. This was the first major funding provided to forensic entomology by the US Justice Department.
Due to the current interest in crime fighting by the general public (CSI and others), Dr. Haskell has been featured on over 15 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 and recent filming for National Geographic and the History Channel, Dead Reckoning.