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Wayne Moorehead

Wayne Moorehead

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  • Adjunct Professor


  1. M.S. in Criminalistics. California State University at Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA. 1997-2000
  2. Thesis: The Characterization of Reloading Smokeless Gun Powders Using Morphology, Micrometry, and Infrared Spectroscopy for Brand Identification
  3. B.S. in Criminalistics. University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California. 1972-1977


Wayne Moorehead joined the Penn State Forensic Science Program in 2014 after working at the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department Crime Lab for 31 years and the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Crime Lab for 2.5 years in addition to teaching or lecturing at UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Los Angeles, National University, and the California Criminalistics Institute. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and an Emeritus (non-certified status) of the American Board of Criminalistics having been certified in three areas of criminalistics as a Fellow and Diplomate over 20 years.  His expertise as an analyst or supervisor includes the disciplines of trace evidence, fire debris and explosives analysis, seized drug analysis, forensic alcohol analysis, toxicology (ante and post mortem) and questioned documents. While specializing in forensic microscopy, Mr. Moorehead has experience with many analytical instruments used in crime laboratories. He has presented his research at regional, national, and international meetings on various topics including forensic alcohol, toxicology, fire debris analysis, forensic microscopy, explosives, and instrumental analysis related to trace evidence. He has served as assessor with both the Forensic science Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) which accredits university forensic science programs and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB) which accredits crime laboratories throughout the world. After his contract terminated at Penn State, Mr. Moorehead moved back to California but continues to be engaged with the nation’s best forensic science program: Penn State. My research interests are varied in several areas of criminalistics and toxicology.

Selected Publications

  1. “Capillary Gas Chromatography Characterization and Classification of Some Hydrocarbon Solvents and Alkyl Glycol Ethers,” The CACNews Winter 1996: 8 - 11i, Co-author Dickan, T.
  2. “A Brief Background and Justification for the Continued Use of Microcrystal Tests,” The CAC News, Summer 2000
  3. “Daily Analytical Problem Solving in Criminalistics with Rapid and Reliable Advanced Instrumentation – The Microscope,” Microsc. Microanal. 7 (Suppl 2: Proceedings), Microscopy Society of America, 2001
  4. “Death by Paint Thinner,” Journal of Analytical Toxicology  Vol. 26, October 2002, Co-author Collison, I.
  5. “The Identification of Kava,” The CACNews 3rd Quarter 2002, Co-author Blackledge, R.
  6. “Contributions of Dr. Walter McCrone to Criminalistics,” Microsc. Microanal. 9 (Suppl 2: Proceedings) Microscopy Society of America, 2003
  7. “Dr. Walter McCrone: Contributions to Criminalistics,” Microscope, First Quarter 2004
  8. “Microscope Basics and Beyond,” Book Review in The Journal of Scanning Microscopies, Vol. 26: 4, July/August 2004
  9. “Advanced Criminalistics,” Developed one-month online course FSC 620, National University, 2003
  10. “Documentation – the Difference Between Homicide and Suicide,” Chapter 10, in Crime Scene Documentation: A Realistic Approach to Investigating Crime Scenes, Goodall, J. and Hawks, C., Law-Tech Custom Publishers, 2004
  11. “Characterization of Smokeless Powder,” Chapter 10, in Forensic Analysis on the Cutting Edge New Methods for Trace Evidence Analysis, Edited by R. Blackledge,  J Wiley & Sons, 2007
  12. “Forensic Science,” Chapter 41, in Biology, DeSalle, R. and Heithaus, M.R. (Editors), Holt, Rinehart, & Winston; 2008, Co-author with Sid Rogers
  13. “Cautions on Brand Identification of Ignitable Liquids,” The CACNews  4th Quarter 2008: 25-29  
  14. “Forensic Interns: Force Multipliers in the Crime Lab,” Forensic Science Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis, March 2012
  15. “A Method to Reduce Analytical Time for a Wide Range of Controlled Substances When the Initial Method is Negative,” Co-Author, The CACNews 4th Quarter 2013: 12-17

Research Interests

As my presentations and publications indicate, my research interests are varied in several disciplines of criminalistics and toxicology: trace evidence (including fire debris and explosives analysis); individualizing materials by utilizing microscopical, isotopic, chemical and biological analyses; controlled substances; and post mortem toxicology.