This blog brings you breaking news about the 14th New England Regional Genealogical Conference and the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Homicide Cold Cases - Adventures of a Forensic Genealogist

As anyone who has been at genealogy for a while knows, it becomes a real “man-hunt” sometimes. After 20 years of digging up tiny details of her own Irish ancestors and countless dead ends for clients, it was not a big leap to volunteering at New Hampshire’s Cold Case Unit. Genealogists are all about cold cases.

Milli's banquet presentation at NERGC will briefly outline what indexing a homicide is all about. She will profile two related homicides out of Manchester in the 1990’s, a time when the drug culture had dominated the residential neighborhoods filled with apartment buildings, small bars, and cheap motels. She was still a classroom teacher at the time in Londonderry, an affluent town just south of Manchester, whose kids seeking a wild side gravitated to the happening part of the “big” city. It wasn’t until later that she realized one of her former students was wrapped up in the seedy existence of prostitution and cocaine.

Meanwhile, in Nashua, a woman who was to become a close friend was the clerk of courts and looking out after a waif who had no normal family beginning. Periodically, the girl would surface in the criminal records and Barbara Hogan would represent her interests. Later after she joined the Cold Case Unit, Barbara and Milli had breakfast one morning, and Milli got to hear the side of the story she never would have known about another victim of the streets of Manchester.

Barbara and Milli will relate some of the behind-the-scenes story of two girls who disappeared within a year of each other, caught up in a whirl of drug dealers, prostitutes, and partiers who wouldn’t make very good witnesses on a good day. Due to the ongoing nature of cold case investigation, they will have to be guarded in some details but are able to bring the audience closer to seeing the inside of a cold case.

Handouts will be provided for all attendees on some cold cases that involve what she calls “Girls in the Woods”, all girls and women who were left in wooded areas to be found by hunters, children and investigators who happened upon their remains.

The Banquet dinner will be held Saturday night at7:00pm, April 20, 2013 at NERGC.

The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is being held April 17-21, 2013 in Manchester, NH. More information is available from the conference website.

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