Mark Benecke: How flies and other insects help us to understand and solve crimes


Presented by ICD9, Namibia Scientific Society (Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft) & National Museum Bloemfontein 

27 November 2018 (18h30)

The 9th International Congress of Dipterology, in collaboration with the Namibia Scientific Society, is pleased to announce two public lectures in November 2018. These lectures will take place at the Safari Conference Centre at the Corner of Auas and Aviation Roads, Windhoek and light refreshments shall be served after the talks.

Dr Mark Benecke will speak on: “How flies and other insects help us to understand and solve crimes”

Some flies, maggots and beetles develop on human corpses. Their location on the body, their feeding patterns, development and even possible gut contents aid in criminal investigations. Actual crime and neglect cases, as well as remarks on the circle of life and the decline in insect populations will illustrate forensic applications of entomology beyond what is shown in movies dealing with the matter.


Mark Benecke works internationally as a forensic biologist. He set up forensic DNA labs for universities in Vietnam and the Philippines and collaborates worldwide in forensic cases using insects from corpses. In Germany, he is a 'Certified and Sworn in Expert for Detection, Recovery and Interpretation of Biological Stains in Crime Cases'. 

In the 1990s he was employed at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Manhattan. For over 25 years he has worked on special cases around the world, including the identification of Adolph Hitler's teeth and skull and his work on thousands of mummies in the Catacombs of Palermo. 

Some of his forensic cases have been covered by the National Geographic Channel and the History Channel. His books about forensic science and cases were published in numerous countries. 

He is a long-time Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London, Honorary Member of the Peruvian Society for Biology and Honorary Member of German Police Organisations.


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