Penn State’s Forensic Science students to explore evidence in the 1975 case of William Thomas Zeigler

Vidocq is proud to announce a special collaboration with Penn State University’s Forensic Science Program.

The students in this program will get access to crime scene photographs, police reports, witness statements and more to apply everything they have learned in class in a real case. The students will be able to explore bloodstain patterns observed in the crime scene photographs to see whether they can apply their knowledge in estimating the position of the shooter(s). They will also be able to explore the existing DNA reports. From witness statements, they will be able to make time lines and even trace the route people claimed they took by checking old maps and Google maps.

Having access to a real case will give the students of Penn State’s FSP the unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge and get some hands-on experience. This educational “field trip” will also prepare them for their future. The case study will be their opportunity to see how science has evolved, how conclusions were drawn decades ago, and how we examine crime scenes today.

This exciting new collaboration in the Zeigler case is exclusive for Penn State FSP students. The Zeigler defense team has agreed to extend their full cooperation to Penn State’s FSP.

Penn State FSP has accepted this collaboration as an educational exercise for their students. The students’ findings are for educational purposes. At no time will any of the findings imply an approval or dismissal of the verdict in the Zeigler case by Penn State University.

Penn State University will remain a neutral partner in this collaboration between the Zeigler legal defense team and Defrosting Cold Cases.


  1. Although I’m glad that Tommy’s case will be getting attention from the Penn State Forensic Science Program, forensics won’t reveal that Tommy’s fate was decided in an unlawful pretrial confab with the trial judge, who had a publicly known adversarial relationship with Tommy.

    I hope that Penn State University has a Poly Sci department and, that it too gets involved in Tommy’s case. We need college students laboring towards accountability – an FBI that refuses to adhere to its mandate to investigate public corruption that affects trial outcomes, is a very big deal.

  2. i agreed with idea of college getting train to access crime scene photographs, police reports, witness statements and more to apply everything they have learned in class in a real case by doing that they will help search many public corruption and learn while learning and help the Tommy’s case will get attention from the Penn State Forensic Science Program.

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