FORENSIC INVESTIGATOR AND EDUCATOR
From the 1980s to the present, Timothy Palmbach has been a qualified expert witness in the processing of crime scenes, interpretation of blood spatter patterns, and digital enhancement of forensic photographs, due to his expertise, experiences, and education in the investigation of hundreds of crime scenes. Some of the more famous investigations performed by Palmbach include: helping to identify in 1999 the burial site of Native American princess Pocahontas in the town of Gravesend, England; researching in 2000 into the July 1985 death of Douglas Bruce Scott, an Australian aboriginal prisoner; participating in research during 2000 with regard to the murder of Mary A. Sullivan by "The Boston Strangler," and the activities leading up to the 2001 exhumation of the body of Richard DeSalvo. After a distinguished career with the Connecticut State Police, Palmbach is currently the chairperson for the forensic science department at the University of New Haven, in West Haven, Connecticut.
In 1982, Timothy Palmbach received a bachelor's of science degree in forensic science and chemistry from the University of New Haven. Three years later, Palmbach completed a master's of science degree from the University of New Haven in forensic science with a concentration in criminalistics . Later, in May 1998, Palmbach received a juris doctor degree in law from the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford.
From 1982 to 1986, Palmbach worked as a resident trooper/trooper with the Connecticut State Police. Then, from 1986–1992, Palmbach worked as a detective in the Major Crime unit with the Connecticut State Police and, from 1992–1993, as a patrol supervisor. In these two capacities, he processed about 300 crime scene investigations, during which time he was assigned as the coordinator/liaison for the Crime Scene Processing unit with the Forensic Laboratory. In 1993, Palmbach was promoted to a supervisor in the Major Crime unit, a role he maintained until 1997. During these four years, he managed a wide variety of criminal investigations into cases including murders, kidnappings, serial killers , and robberies.
In January 1997, Palmbach transferred to the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory where, at the rank of lieutenant, he became the organization's assistant director. For the next year and one half, Palmbach managed the Support and Administrative Services area; designed and implemented a pre-accreditation program from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors; implemented the Laboratory Management Information Systems program; and assisted the well-known Chinese-American forensic scientist Henry C. Lee with case reports of crime scene reconstructions. Then, in July 1998, Palmbach transferred to the Department of Public Safety. There he was promoted to the rank of major and managed the operations of the Commissioner's Office including Legal Affairs, Legislative Liaison, and Public Information, and the operations of the Division of Scientific Services including the Forensic Laboratory, Computer Crime Unit, and Toxicology Laboratory. He also continued his assistance with Lee.
In June 2000, Palmbach became the commanding officer and director of the Division of Scientific Services, and served in this position until 2004. As division head, Palmbach had general jurisdiction over such areas as the Forensic Science Laboratory, Computer Crime and Electronic Evidence Unit, and Controlled Substance and Toxicology Laboratory. Palmbach is a certified law enforcement instructor, a classification he has held since 1992. In this capacity, Palmbach is certified to instruct such courses as Crime Scene Procedures, Principles of Investigation, Photography, Fingerprinting, and Sexual Assault/Rape crisis.
Since August 2000, Palmbach has held the positions of practitioner-in-residence and distinguished lecturer at the University of New Haven. At this institution, Palmbach teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in forensic science including Physical Analysis in Forensic Science, Pattern Analysis and Crime Scene Procedures, and Advanced Criminalistics. Some of the many workshops and seminars that he has taught include Cold Case Investigations, Effective Presentation of Expert Testimony, and Advances in DNA Profiling and Technologies for Attorneys.
Palmbach has been an adjunct lecturer at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain; where he has lectured on special topics within criminology . In addition, Palmbach has been a guest lecturer at such universities as the University of Connecticut School of Law, Western Connecticut University, Saint Joseph College, and Northwestern Connecticut Community College. Besides his college lectures, Palmbach also gives many professional forensic science presentations at conferences and seminars around the world, including in 2002: "Blood Stain Pattern Analysis" at the 9th Annual New Jersey State Police Advanced Homicide Investigation Conference at Princeton University, New Jersey, and "Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents" at the Southeast Law Enforcement Training Seminar in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.
Palmbach has collaborated with other authors on such publications as: "Henry Lee's Crime Scene Handbook," (with Henry Lee and Marilyn Miller, 2001), "Digital Enhancement of Sub-Quality Bitemark Photographs," (with Henry Lee and Constantine Karazulus, 2001, Journal of Forensic Science ), and "The Green Revolution: Botanical Contributions to Forensics and Drug Enforcement," (with H. M. Coyle, Carll Ladd, and Henry Lee, Croatian Medical Journal ). Palmbach holds a professional affiliation with the American Academy of Forensic Scientists and is on the board of directors of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, which is affiliated with the University of New Haven.
see also American Academy of Forensic Sciences; Blood spatter; Crime scene investigation; Expert witnesses.