Available On Demand

Historical forensic investigations, or the identification of historical remains, involve some of the most challenging conditions. Records are inconsistent, incomplete or missing, making accurate reconstruction of a story difficult. The poor condition of associated skeletal remains can restrict the types of analyses that can be done, or evidence may be in such limited quantities that strategic decisions must be made on which types of analyses will be most informative and which will be excluded.

These challenges make resolution incredibly difficult, and cases often remain unsolved. Though often considered a specialty field, the approach to resolution bears many similarities to contemporary cases, and analysts are faced with similar questions: how can you narrow down identities for a complete or partial set of remains with limited reference information? How do you advance a case with a perfect autosomal STR profile but no DNA database for comparison? What is the most efficient and humanitarian approach to identification of remains? What options are available to clarify confounding information or to generate additional investigational leads?

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provides a more efficient way to uncover more high-resolution data from cases that would otherwise have gone cold with traditional technologies. Register for this webinar to learn about three historical cases, how NGS technology shaped the course of the investigation, and how NGS can strengthen and streamline your approach to contemporary casework.


Angie Ambers, M.A., M.S., PhD

Associate Professor (Forensic Genetics)

Henry C. Lee College of

Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences


In this 90-minute presentation, you will learn:

  • The challenges of three interesting historical investigations: skeletal remains discovered in the Himalayas; skeletonized remains uncovered by construction in Deadwood, South Dakota (America’s Wild West); and two adult male skeletons excavated from the La Belle shipwreck (from the French explorer La Salle’s last expedition)
  • How next-generation sequencing created a more efficient, collaborative and humanitarian approach for each case, and provided the most informative data to guide the investigation
  • Considerations and techniques that can benefit contemporary investigations

Register now to watch on demand