Monday, October 29, 2007

Murder House

Tonight at 7:00 p.m., Murder House, a Nebraska Educational Television documentary about the forensic science program at Nebraska Wesleyan University, will premier in O'Donnell Auditorium on the Nebraska Wesleyan Campus at 51st St. and Huntington Avenue. The premier is open to the public and free! I think it will be a great event, and Tonja and I will be there in the audience somewhere. If you can't make the premier, the NET1 television broadcast of Murder House is at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 8th.

I was impressed when NWU started a master's program in forensic science, well ahead of the CSI-inspired flurry of such programs springing up around the country. Det. Sgt. Larry Barksdale and Det. Sgt. Erin Sims have been very involved in the program, and a number of other Lincoln police officers have been graduates or students in NWU's Forensic Science Program. I had the opportunity to teach Sociology 190 at Nebraska Wesleyan several times during the 1980's, and just loved the feel of the campus, the size of the classes, and the engagement of the students. It was quite a change from my assignments as a graduate teaching assistant and part-time instructor at UNL.

Like many of my Northeast High School classmates, I really wanted to attend NWU. The bargain price of the University of Nebraska, however, was the key factor for a freshman living alone and paying his way by sacking groceries. I still have a very warm spot for Nebraska Wesleyan. At age 19, a few weeks before my wedding, I moved into a one bedroom apartment right next to NWU. I had the best landlord in the world, Dale Moser. He didn't normally rent to single college men, but when he met my fiance, she melted that policy in a heartbeat. Our neighbor across the hall was Dr. Edward Mattingly, retired professor of religion at NWU. Tonja and I were frequently invited next door for conversation and tea served in Dr. Mattingly's Wedgewood china.

I wouldn't be surpised if after tonight's premier the Casadys take a stroll past Old Main (look out for the ghost), and cross campus to pause in front of 2822 N. 52nd Street for a moment.


Anonymous said...

Now that you've seen it, how about a quick review of "Murder House"? It'd carry more weight that that of a fishwrap entertainment reporter.

Tom Casady said...

Really enjoyed the preview. It's a compelling documentary, with a great local story line. I knew several of the people featured in the show, of course, including two of our detectives. That made it particularly interesting for me. As I watched the program, I kept thinking about the murder cases I've been involved in (or at least on the fringe of) for 33 years.

The existence of this unique academic program at our own little Methodist liberal arts college is quite interesting.

One of my favorite parts of the documentary is the art work, which appears in the show at several points. The story of the art work and a lot of other good material (including several clips from both the show and related interviews) can be found at the documentary's website, Don't miss the broadcat on Nov 8th and 9:00 p.m..

Anonymous said...

A sincere "thank you" for the review. I'll definitely tune in.

Sometimes PBS reminds me of a broken clock, because they hit the mark once in a great while, and Masterpiece Theater isn't on very often (unless you count re-runs).