Nancy Strang is a name that may not be widely known to the general public, but to those in the field of forensic science, she is a trailblazing figure whose contributions have helped to shape the modern discipline. Strang was a pioneer in the use of forensic anthropology to identify human remains, and her groundbreaking work has helped to solve numerous high-profile cases over the years.
Early Life and Education
Nancy Strang was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Hunter College in Manhattan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology in 1963. She went on to pursue graduate studies in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Master of Arts degree in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1970.
Career in Forensic Anthropology
After completing her graduate studies, Strang began her career in forensic anthropology as a consultant for the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In this role, she worked on numerous cases involving unidentified human remains, using her expertise in bone analysis to help determine the age, sex, and ancestry of the deceased.
One of Strang’s early successes came in the 1970s, when she worked on a case involving a set of human remains found in a wooded area in New York. Using her knowledge of skeletal anatomy, she was able to determine that the victim had been a young woman, and her analysis of the bones helped to identify the victim as a missing college student. The case was featured on the television show “Unsolved Mysteries,” and Strang’s work helped to bring closure to the victim’s family.
Over the years, Strang became one of the foremost experts in the field of forensic anthropology, and she was often called upon to consult on high-profile cases around the world. She worked on cases involving mass graves in Bosnia, the aftermath of the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and the recovery of human remains at the site of the World Trade Center after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
In addition to her work on individual cases, Strang was also a respected researcher in the field of forensic anthropology. She authored numerous papers and articles on topics such as the analysis of skeletal trauma, the use of DNA in forensic identification, and the challenges of identifying human remains in mass disasters.
Legacy and Impact
Nancy Strang’s contributions to the field of forensic anthropology have had a profound impact on the way that human remains are identified and analyzed today. Her pioneering work in the use of bone analysis and other techniques to identify human remains has helped to solve countless cases over the years, bringing closure to families and helping to bring perpetrators to justice.
In addition to her impact on the field of forensic science, Strang was also a respected mentor and teacher, passing on her knowledge and expertise to the next generation of forensic anthropologists. She taught at several universities over the course of her career, including the University of Michigan and the University of Tennessee, and she was known for her dedication to her students and her commitment to advancing the field of forensic anthropology.
Nancy Strang passed away in 2016 at the age of 74, but her legacy lives on in the countless lives that she touched through her work in forensic anthropology. Her contributions have helped to make the world a safer place, and her dedication to the pursuit of justice serves as an inspiration to us all.