A forensic scientist says a skeleton with ties to Dr. Henry Wheeler, a central figure in Northfield’s storied James-Younger Raid of 1876, could be that of gang member Clell Miller.
In a presentation last month in Atlanta at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, James Bailey, Ph.D., a professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, said a process called craniofacial superimposition could not rule out that the skeleton’s skull belonged to Clell Miller.
Miller was one of two gang members slain on the street in Northfield during the failed attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield. Dr. Wheeler, then a medical student home for the summer, shot and killed Clell Miller; Anslem Manning, a local hardware merchant, shot and killed Bill Chadwell, also known as William Stiles.
Craniofacial superimposition can definitively exclude remains from a positive identification. Computer tomography (CT) scans were used to establish key reference points on the skull in question. Then a postmortem photo was superimposed over the CT scan of the skull to see how the reference points match. Dr. Gil Brogdon and Dr. Brandon Nichols, Forensic Radiologists from Mobile, Alabama, collaborated with Dr. Bailey and used Miller’s case study to familiarize the forensic science community with the technique and how it is used in historical cases.Read More