Lecture Series To Focus On "Cold Cases"

The brown bag lecture series “Investigating Cold Cases” is hosted by the USF Anthropology Department.



By Daylina Miller

USF.edu News Writer


TAMPA, Fla. (September 10, 2010) – In an effort to strengthen the partnerships between the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay law enforcement agencies, a new lecture series began Friday, hosted by the forensic anthropology department at USF.


Members from various law enforcement agencies around Florida - including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Hillsborough County Sheriffs’ Office and the Temple Terrace Police Department - gathered with USF students and faculty to listen to the HCSO’s Major Harold Winsett give an overview of cold case investigations.


The lecture included the importance of investigating them, traits agencies look for in cold case team members and the problems investigators often face, such as lost or improperly stored evidence and fading witness memories.


“We don’t realize the significance of cold cases,” Winsett said. ”We get caught up in our every day lives with crimes that occurred today or last week. Sometimes cold case investigators are the only voice that victim has.”


Forensic Anthropologist and USF professor Erin Kimmerle hopes this lecture series brings together law enforcement agencies and the USF community to continue to strengthen resources for investigating cold cases, as well as help students make connections in their field.


“This gives students the opportunity to work with these professionals and learn more about the realities of their jobs,” Kimmerle said. “In past lecture series, students have made contacts for future internship and employment opportunities.”


Here is the lecture series schedule for the remainder of the semester:


September 24: Interviewing the Witness in Unsolved Cases

Detective Chuck Massucci, of the Tampa Police Department, will delve into new interviewing strategies gleaned from work in Asaba, Nigeria where USF anthropologists have been collecting witness statements from the 1967 Nigerian Civil War in which hundreds of people were killed.


October 8: Cold Cases and the Role of Anthropology

Investigator Brenda Stevenson of the St. Petersburg Police will give an overview of a 1969 cold case murder in St. Pete and what’s being done to resolve it. USF professor and forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle will explain how anthropologists are lending a hand in the investigation.


November 12: Unsolved Mysteries: Strategies &

Evidence in Open Cases

Detective Eric Houston of the Tampa Police Department


November 19: The Role of Forensics in Cold Case


Rayce Wilson from HCSO 


December 3: Prosecuting Cold Cases

Jay Pruner, J.D., 13th Judicial District, State Attorney’s Office


Daylina Miller covers student activities and trends. She can be reached at 813-500-8754.