Mount St. Joseph University

She Sees Dead People

Behavioral and Natural Sciences, Biology, Faculty

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File Under: anatomy, biology, forensic science, physiology

Dr. Murray is an internationally known forensic anthropologist and one of only approximately 70 anthropologists in North America who are certified as a Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.  She has consulted with local and national law enforcement departments, as well as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), to help identify human remains and resolve missing person cases.

“Identifying a body gives the person back his or her name,” Murray said. “In a murder case, it brings investigators one step closer to the killer.”

Dr. Murray has lent her expertise locally as well, and frequently uses Mount biology students to help with major projects. One of them, Project Identify, is in coordination with the Hamilton County Coroner’s office and helps to give identities to bodies involved in cold cases. They have been featured in several news programs and Dr. Murray has also been featured in numerous television shows including Forensic Files, New Detectives, The Decrypters, America’s Most Wanted, and Skeleton Stories.

Teaching isn’t Dr. Murray’s only passion. She has also written two books for middle school and high school students to help them learn about forensic science. Her second science book for teens, “Forensic Identification: Putting a Name and Face on Death,” (Twenty-First Century Books, 2012), was selected by the National Science Teachers Association as one of their Outstanding Science Trade Books K-12: 2013. She also is the presenter of a 36-lecture video series for The Teaching Company’s Great Courses entitled “Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works.”

Dr. Murray received her bachelor’s degree from the Mount and received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Cincinnati, focusing on skeletal biology and forensic anthropology. She teaches courses in gross anatomy, anatomy and physiology, general biology, and forensic science.