Research Interests

Research Interests

Research Interests and Publications

Crime and Punishment in Oregon, 1875-1915 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2008)

“The Death Penalty in the Pacific Northwest,” in Gordon Morris Bakken, ed. Invitation to an Execution (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press,2009)

“Erie: Hard Labor, Hard Luck,” (2007) Documentary produced as part of a Labor Oral History Grant from PHMC.

“Murder and the Erie Trucking War of 1929,” The Journal of Erie Studies, Fall 2004: 20-28.

“The Faces of War: World War II and Northwestern Pennsylvania,” Documentary produced as part of WWII Oral History Grant from PHMC with Digitalmotion, Inc. Served as scriptwriter, editor, and director. Documentary debuted at EUP in Spring 2004; featured at Erie County Historical Society and Museums in September 2004 and as part Edinboro Area Historical Society’s Veteran’s Day programming in November 2004.

“Crime and Punishment in a Mining Town: Jacksonville, Oregon, 1875-1915,” The Journal of Mining History, (Spring 2003).

“Cold War Offenses and Cold-Hearted Crimes: Crime and Punishment in Erie, Pennsylvania, 1946-1960,” The Journal of Erie Studies (Spring 2002): 5-15.

“Trouble on the Outside, Trouble on the Inside: An Historical Overview of the Eugene Police Department, 1862-1969,” Police Quarterly , March 2002, v5 (1): 96-112.

“The Wicked Stepmother? The Edna Mumbulo Case of 1930,” Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 9 (2) (2002): 33-54. [On-line at:]

“Outlaws of Erie and Wartime Bandits,” Journal of Erie Studies (Fall 2000): 31-40.

I currently have three manuscripts out under review: 1) "The Invisible City: Erie, Pennsylvania, 1930s-1960s" with Jerra Jenrette and Ihor Bemko 2) "Engendered Death: Women Who Kill" and 3) "Gorilla Americanus: Race, Primates, and the American Search for Order"
  • My current research has moved dramatically away from my traditional work on the "social construction" of crime and punishment. My new research started with the simple question of "When were the first gorillas brought to the United States?" That simple query has since evolved into an examination of the origin of American zoologocal societies and museums, the curation of those museums and the collection of animal and anthropological artifacts, racism, the eugenics movement, and the debate between Darwinists, Neo-Lamarckians, and fundamentalists.