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Barbara Butcher

Barbara Butcher, MPH, was Chief of Staff and Director of the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. She was responsible for overall agency management, strategy, and inter-agency relations. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.


Barbara is regarded as a renowned expert in medicolegal death investigation, having spent 23 years at the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), consulted on international mass fatalities, been a featured speaker at numerous national conferences, a published author, and taught at multiple medical institutions.


Her prior roles at OCME included Medicolegal Investigator, Deputy Director of Investigations, and Director of Forensic Investigations, where her responsibilities included death investigations, disaster planning, victim identification, evidence, and missing persons. She oversaw the remains recovery effort at the World Trade Center site after 9/11 and helped manage the response to the crash of Flight 587 and investigated the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.


As a medicolegal death investigator at OCME, she investigated more than 5500 death scenes and 680 homicides.


Barbara also created the federally funded Forensic Sciences Training Program at OCME and served as its director.  It was established as a national center to train practitioners, enforce standards, and promote best practices in the death investigation field.

Barbara Butcher and Charles Hirsch

Barbara Butcher and Dr. Charles Hirsch

New York City Chief Medical Examiner 1989-2013

Barbara has worked internationally, consulting for the World Health Organization and responding to the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand, the London Underground bombing, and assisted in the disaster planning for the Hong Kong and Norwegian governments. She has been a featured guest speaker on Disaster Planning and Mass Fatalities at national conferences throughout the United States.


Barbara was also an adjunct assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine and New York Medical College, as well as an instructor at Louisiana State University in the National Center
for Biomedical Research.


She has held many board and committee positions such as the subcommittee of the White House Commission on Sciences, Forensic Division and is currently a consultant for medico-legal death investigation working with forensic pathologists, educators, television and mystery writers. She is a popular speaker at conferences and lectures as well as less formal groups, including for mystery writers and forensics fans.

Barbara Butcher at Work
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