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Professor of Criminalistics
HQ Phone:  (607) 936-4686
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1 Academic Drive
Corning, New York,14830
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An icon in the field of forensic science, Herbert Leon MacDonell, will present "Sixty Years of Forensic Investigations" Tuesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in Syracuse University's Life Science Complex Auditorium (Room 001).
The lecture is presented by the Forensic Science Program in SU's College of Arts and Sciences and is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Booth Garage on Comstock Avenue. MacDonell is director of the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning, N.Y. He has testified as an expert witness in 33 states and in countries across the globe, including in such celebrated cases as the Joan Little murder trial in Raleigh, N.C.; the O.J. Simpson double murder trial in Los Angeles; the assassination of U.S. Sen. Holder of four patents, MacDonell invented the MAGNA Brush, a device for processing latent fingerprints. It is the only powder method that is successful for developing fingerprints deposited on human skin. In 1973, MacDonell founded the Bloodstain Evidence Institute; he has conducted seminars and workshops on human bloodstain evidence across the United States and abroad. He is also founder of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, which currently has more than 800 members from 17 countries. He has written four books on bloodstain pattern interpretation and more than 100 forensic and scientific articles, some of which are chapters in classic forensic textbooks. MacDonell holds a B.A. from Alfred University and an M.S. and Sc.D. from the University of Rhode Island. He was professor and head of the chemistry department at Milton College in Wisconsin and professor of criminalistics at both Corning Community College and Elmira College.
Ms. Kemp has worked at the Laboratory of Forensic Science as an assistant to forensic consultant Herb MacDonell.
Herbert L. MacDonell
Mr. MacDonell is the head of the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning, New York. In a career spanning five decades, Mr. MacDonell has investigated numerous high-profile homicides, including the murder of Robert F. Kennedy and the 1994 slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Herbert MacDonell, crime-scene analyst
MacDonell is a senior crime-scene analyst who interprets blood-stain patterns. Under direct examination, he testified that he examined the blood stains on the socks recovered from Simpson's Rockingham bedroom. He said that there were visible stains on the socks. He also said that he conducted an experiment using similar material and he determined the blood did not drip or splash on the socks, it was transferred either by touching or by a lateral motion (swiping). MacDonell testified that the blood would have dried within five or 10 minutes, implying the blood wouldns coll't have soaked through after the socks were taken off. MacDonell said he performed an experiment to attempt to determine if the gloves would shrink if exposed to human blood. He concluded: "I could not detect any measurable shrinkage on either glove ... and that's the bottom line. MacDonell was the first of several defense science experts being called to throw scientific weight behind the police frame-up theory and to sketch an alternate scenario for the killings.
Pursuing Truth in the Puzzles of Evidence: An Interview with Dr. Herbert Leon MacDonell, Forensic Scientist
Dr. Herbert Leon MacDonell Dr. Herbert Leon MacDonell is known as the Sherlock Holmes of bloodstain evidence. He wrote the book, Flight Characteristics and Stain Patterns of Human Blood, published by the U.S. Department of Justice (1971). His Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation (1982) is considered the definitive text on the subject by law enforcement. Dr. MacDonell is a criminalist. Regardless of the social status of the defendant, MacDonell is aware of the stakes in the game of the judicial process.