Department of Pathology - Creighton University

Date Published 05.15.13

I’m working on a couple of longer stories, but in the meantime I wanted to post about a double homicide that took place yesterday in Omaha.  The bodies of Dr. Roger Brumback, 65, and his wife, Mary, 65, were discovered yesterday in their two-story home in southwest Omaha by a piano mover.  The mover allegedly found the front door unlocked and a large-caliber gun clip on the threshold.  The couple lay dead inside.  Omaha police are characterizing the deaths as homicides, but aren’t commenting on how they died, or if there are suspects.


Dr. Roger Brumback


Brumback was a Creighton University physician and professor (pathology, psychiatry and neurology) who’d recently retired and was making plans to move to West Virginia with his wife.  While at Creighton he served as the chairman of the department of pathology from 2001 to 2010.


His connection to Creighton’s pathology department flagged my interest immediately, as this is the second double homicide with links to that department in five years.


I previously wrote about the double homicide of Thomas Hunter, 11, and his housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, 57, in the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha on March 13, 2008.  The two victims were fatally stabbed; the motive was a mystery.  Neighborhood witnesses reported seeing an “olive-skinned” man wearing a dark suit and carrying a satchel walk up to the Hunter’s house that afternoon.  The man has never been identified.


The potential connection between yesterday’s double homicide and the Hunter/Sherman case?  Dr. William Hunter, Thomas Hunter’s father, is a pathology professor and was the program director for Creighton University Medical Center’s department of pathology.  He worked with Dr. Brumback, and in fact Hunter himself speculated about a possible link to his son’s case in an article in the Omaha World-Herald.


In the past few years the name of a person of interest in the Hunter/Sherman case was bandied about in the press and on crime blogs.  The man in question had been a pathology resident at Creighton before leaving the program in 2007.  The man later worked as a medical examiner in Canada and became the focus of an inquiry over the accuracy of his autopsies.  He left that post, and I don’t know his whereabouts right now.


If the cases are connected, the perpetrator has certainly engaged in a slow burn of revenge.  The Brumbacks impending departure may have necessitated an acceleration in action.


I’ll post with updates as more details are released.

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RT @emilynussbaum: The artful @hodgman's straightforward case for Hillary:
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Know what he does believe in? PAC $. Took 10K from HRC pac 2006. That means he's in her pocket.#BSLogic
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Good one. Unfortunately Bernie on record as not believing in charity.
@johnlevenstein Thanks for asking, btw. That's the kind of elevated discourse missing lately. A lot of mud slinging. #I'mNotAboveItEither
@johnlevenstein Can't convey it all thru Twitter but yes, she has flaws. Too poll-driven, burned needed bridges, trouble owning mistakes.