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Office Space: Barbara Hanbury, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

March 21, 2023
Barb Hanbury in her office holding a cup of coffee

The way a person decorates can say a lot about them. In the Office Space series, we go beyond the résumé and get to know York College faculty and staff members through the objects they like to keep close.

Professor Barb Hanbury received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. She expanded her knowledge and expertise in the criminal justice field by specializing in death investigation and the recovery of human remains. Dr. Hanbury has received numerous certifications in death investigation and has worked as a Forensic Consultant since 2001. In this capacity, she has worked on many cases that included search and recovery of skeletal remains, recovery of physical evidence, analysis of skeletal remains, and determining cause and manner of death. She teaches courses in Criminology and Criminal Justice. including juvenile delinquency, corrections, victimology, and death investigation. 

Picture frame with Barb next to the coffin of the Boston Strangler 1. Picture of the Boston Strangler in a coffin surrounded by Forensic Team Members

In 2001, The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, was exhumed from a cemetery in Massachusetts and was transported to York College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hanbury was a member of the forensic team that conducted a second autopsy on DeSalvo in an attempt to determine if he truly was the Boston Strangler. The team members surround the 12-gauge steel casket coffin

2. Picture of Dr. Hanbury and President Richard NixonPhotograph in frame of Barb meeting Richard Nixon.

While Dr. Hanbury was in graduate school, she was employed as an elevator operator for the U.S. Senate in the United States Capital. One day, while working the Senator’s elevator, President Nixon walked by her with Bob Dole and, surprisingly, Nixon walked up to Dr. Hanbury and introduced himself. One month later, an 8x10 photograph appeared at her place of employment. She had no idea that a picture was taken and is grateful to the photographer who took the time to find where she worked and mailed it to her. She has it hanging in her office.

Barb's Grand Jury Appreciation Plaque 3. Grand Jury Appreciation Plaque

Dr. Hanbury portrayed herself as a forensic consultant in a film called Grand Jury in Las Cruces, New Mexico. This film was based on a cold case that she and selected students worked on at York College of Pennsylvania.  Sen. Joe Carraro from New Mexico gave her the appreciation plaque – it was his daughter’s case that Dr. Hanbury researched and investigated. 

4. Monkey, Mugs, and PuppetsBarb's Monkey, Mugs, Puppets in her office

All of these items are placed in a way so that she can easily see them in her office. The mugs in her office remind her of the special people in her life and the places she has visited, such as Santorini, Greece. The monkey cellphone holder sits on her desk and reminds her of her dear friends at YCP, as several other professors have the same monkey on their desks. The puppets belonged to Dr. Jack Levisky, who passed away in 2012. He was a professor of forensic anthropology at YCP and was Dr. Hanbury’s mentor and dear friend. One of the puppets resembles Dr. Levisky and always brings a smile.