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Just Mass Casualty Events

In episode eleven of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Special Agent Richard Marx, the supervisory agent for the FBI’s Evidence Response Team Unit, to discuss what follows a mass casualty event. Since joining the Evidence Response Team in 2006, Marx has been involved in the support efforts following disasters both domestic and abroad. Listen along as he discusses the necessity for interdepartmental collaboration and the feeling of service following a mass casualty event in this week’s episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Richard Marx Special Agent entered FBI New Agent training in March 1997. SA Marx was a first office Special Agent in the Philadelphia Division where he was assigned to a drug squad and eventually was permanently assigned to the bank robbery and fugitive squad in 1998. He worked numerous cases involving violent crime and major offenders while assigned to the squad. On August 9, 1998, SA Marx was part of a multi-division FBI Evidence Response Team that was deployed to Nairobi, Kenya to sift through the debris of Usama Bin Laden’s bombing attack on the U.S. Embassy. In December 1999, SA Marx was deployed with the Philadelphia Division’s Evidence Response Team to work morgue operations at the crash of Egypt Air Flight 990 off the coast of Rhode Island. On September 12, 2001, SA Marx arrived at Fresh Kills Landfill with the Philadelphia Division’s Evidence Response Team to assist in the recovery operations during the 9/11 attacks in New York City. SA Marx was designated as special agent in charge of the forensic recovery effort that sifted the 1.8 million tons of World Trade Center debris down to a quarter inch in size. He was in charge of the site from September 12, 2001 to August 9, 2002. The 11-month operation recovered over 4,500 human remains and over 75,000 personal effects and processed over 1,300 vehicles from Ground Zero. For his efforts, SA Marx was a finalist for the 2003 Director’s Award and the Federal Employee of 2003. In July 2004, SA Marx was deployed as an Evidence Response Team member to Baghdad, Iraq to liaise with the Iraqi Survey Group and Joint Inter-Agency Terrorism Task Force. In March 2005, SA Marx was deployed to Phuket, Thailand by the FBI Laboratory Division as the Scientific Chairperson for the Thailand Tsunami Victim Identification Group tasked with retrieving DNA samples from the 3,700 victims of the deadly tsunami that destroyed Thailand’s coast. SA Marx was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the FBI Laboratory’s Evidence Response Team Unit at the FBI Laboratory, Quantico, VA in April 2006. In August 2009–September 2009, SSA Marx developed and coordinated the deployment of FBI personnel, which culminated in the solving of 28 unsolved bombing cases against Iraqi civilians and coalition forces. He was nominated for the 2010 Director’s Award for Special Achievement. SSA Marx has led FBI teams at the 2012 Aurora Century Cinema 16 mass shooting in Colorado, the 2013 Algerian US hostage killings, the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, the 2013 Asiana Flight 214 crash in San Francisco, and the 2013 Navy Yard shooting in Washington, DC. He earned a Master of Science in Forensic Anthropology from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2013. SSA Marx deployed from July to August 2014 to Ukraine and the Netherlands to assist in the recovery of human remains and Disaster Victim Identification efforts for the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17. On June 12–21, 2016, SSA Marx led the FBI Laboratory Shooting Reconstruction Team (LSRT) that processed the Orlando Pulse Night Club Shooting Scene in Florida. SSA Marx was again deployed to co-lead the LSRT in July 2016 to process the large-scale shooting scene for the Dallas Police Shooting in Texas. SSA Marx was the Team Leader for the FBI LSRT that collected evidence and documented the scene at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay/Route 91 Mass Shooting in October 2017 and the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar Shooting in November 2018.


Additional Resources:

2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

https://www.fbi.gov/services/laboratory

http://exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov/wtc/recovery/freshkills.html

https://www.911memorial.org