On January 13, 2000 the Massachusetts State Police contacted the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to engage the services of the Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Mires. Under the cloak of darkness, a team of state police from the Crime Scene Services unit at the OCME and Mires, worked through the night to uncover a multiple burial pit containing the re-interred remains of three of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s victims dating back to 1984. This excavation was the first of three subsequent digs that revealed Bulger’s buried legacy of six murder victims dating to that time period.
In this talk, Dr. Ann Marie Mires will share her experiences of the excavations, analyses and courtroom testimony on these six cases which provided the forensic evidence to successfully prosecute Bulger in the 2013 trial. As an anthropologist, Mires will also reflect on the high profile nature of these cases, the political dynamic during the excavations, and Bulger’s impact on the victims, families and the Boston community. Bulger’s death in 2018 brought an end to his life, but not the indelible impact he had on victims and survivors.
Dr. Mires is a Forensic Anthropologist who was responsible for establishing Forensic Anthropology in Massachusetts as a specialty at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). During her tenure at the OCME, 1996-2009, Dr. Mires worked on overseeing identification and providing the specialty of Forensic Anthropology consultation on cases. Some of those cases included the multiple graves of the notorious South Boston crime boss, James “Whitey” Bulger and missing and abducted children including Molly Anne Bish, Holly Pirhanean, and Sara Pryor.
Dr. Mires is the Director of the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. She also directs the Forensic Criminology program and teaches coursework in criminal justice, forensic anthropology, and victimology.
Concurrently, Dr. Mires is the Director of Forensic Archaeology Recovery, a non-profit devoted to applying archaeological recovery techniques to unfound missing person cases and evidentiary materials. She is interested is consulting with agencies on systematic search and recovery methodologies and in continuing to move these unresolved cases forward for the families of the endangered persons and for law enforcement investigations. As a forensic expert, she has testified on case work in Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology, as well as, contributed to media commentary.
She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, her Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and her Doctorate degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.