UC ANR role in Bakersfield murder trial

May 17, 2007

A jury in Bakersfield this week found Vincent Brothers guilty of five counts of murder. The story was widely covered in the media. Here is the report from KGET Channel 17. You might be wondering what this has to do with UC Agricuture and Natural Resources news. One of the 137 witnesses in the landmark trial was UC Davis entomology professor Lynn Kimsey.

Brothers claimed he couldn't have killed his family in Bakersfield on July 4, 2003, because he was in Ohio at the time and traveled in a rental car to Missouri the day before the prosecution said the murders took place. Kimsey examined the rental car's radiator, air filter and other bug samples collected by detectives. According to an April 2, 2007, article in the Bakersfield Californian by Jessica Logan, Kimsey found a species of paper wasp, two species of true bugs and a very distinctiive grasshopper leg. "The bugs would be splattered on Brothers car if he drove one of two major routes between Ohio and California," Kimsey testified, according to the Bakersfield Californian. No butterflies were found on the car, which indicated the car may not have been driven during the day. "The car did have several moth pieces on it and other night flying bugs, indicating it was likely driven at night," the newspaper reported Kimsey testified.

At the trial, Kimsey said she based her testimony on the 7 million bug collection at the R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis, on consultation with other experts and published papers.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist

Attached Images:

Lynn Kimsey