AU Press Releases

Nationally known forensic investigator honored with Alumni Award

Herbert L. MacDonell of Corning received a 2010 Alfred University Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement during the 124th Annual Alumni Association Awards Picnic earlier this month. The award honors alumni whose achievements in their profession, career, or avocational pursuits, or service to society, bring honor and distinction to Alfred University.

MacDonnell, a member of the AU class of 1950, was cited for his long and distinguished career in forensic investigative techniques. Known for his leadership and work in bloodstain pattern interpretations, fingerprint analysis, and firearms identification, MacDonell’s list of accomplishments includes inventing the MAGNA Brush fingerprint device while working as an analytical research chemist at Corning Glass Works. The device is used worldwide by law enforcement in collecting evidence. He also established the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning and the Institute on the Physical Significance of Human Bloodstain Evidence at the laboratory.

Often called the “Father of Modern Bloodstain Interpretation,” MacDonell is famous for his expert testimony in the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial, was involved in the investigations of the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, and has participated as an expert witness in many other high-profile murder cases. He has trained countless forensic investigators domestically and internationally and has been recognized countless times for his groundbreaking work and discoveries.

A frequent guest speaker, lecturer, and published author, MacDonell has been interviewed on national news television programs and has spoken at hundreds of colleges and universities. He was inducted into the Steuben County Hall of Fame in 2009.

MacDonnell graduated from AU with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry. He continued his education at the University of Rhode Island where he received a graduate degree in 1956. He currently resides in Corning with his wife Phyllis.