Pioneer Public – Edward Strimlan

Carley Bonk


Photo by Carley Bonk

Edward Strimlan

Written By Matt Petras, Co-Features Editor

Before Edward Strimlan was a professor on campus, he was the chief forensics investigator for the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner.

“I’ve seen a lot of death,” Strimlan said in a phone interview.

The 58-year-old professor from Bethel Park has been teaching full-time for years, but his past experience still finds itself in his current work. He enjoys telling stories from his old job, and has students complete assignments based on cases he was actually involved in, he said.

“You never know each day if you were going to have a homicide, a suicide, an accident, a natural death,” Strimlan said. “You didn’t know if you were going to deal with family members or strange, unusual places you’ve never been in the county.”

The job involved taking pictures, collecting the body, collecting evidence and contacting the families.

“Once you get past the actual aspect of the tragedy, you become numb to the bodies, but you never become numb to the families,” Strimlan said.

There would be some feeling of accomplishment after a job well done, but sorrow always lingered.

“You realize backwards that somebody passed away still and there was a family that still lost their loved ones,” he said.

Strimlan teaches a variety of classes, some of which implement the crime scene lab, a room in Academic Hall used for crafting mock crime scene investigations. This room regularly provides hands-on experience, according to Strimlan. It’s also something he notices students take a liking to. In fact, he often sees students taking a liking to their education.

“I’ve been very lucky with the students at Point Park University,” he said. “They are really interested in the field.”