Clea Koff

Born: 1972 (age 50 years), London, United Kingdom

Parents: David Koff

Clea Koff

Clea Koff (born 1972) is an American forensic anthropologist and author who worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR; 2 missions) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (5 missions) in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo in 2000.

Early life

Mindo Mwinyipembe, a Tanzanian mother, and David Koff, an American father, both documentary filmmakers concentrating on human rights concerns, gave birth to Koff, who is mixed-race and Jewish, in 1972. Her parents traveled the world with her and her older brother, Kimera. She lived in England, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and the United States during her childhood. She had decided to study human osteology when she was a teenager, which she did initially in California. Stanford University awarded her a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Clea Koff is an author and forensic anthropologist. She is also the daughter of two human rights-focused documentary filmmakers. Ms. Koff was born in Tanzania to a Tanzanian mother and an American father.

She lived in Somalia and the United States for the majority of her youth. Ms. Koff graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Ms. Koff graduated from the University of Nebraska with a master’s degree in 1999. She trained with forensic anthropologist Dr. Walt Birkby while a master’s student at the University of Arizona’s graduate forensic anthropology department.

My fascination with the dead began when she was a child when she would exhume the bodies of dead birds found in our yard. Because she have a habit of digging things up outside, she remember watching a National Geographic video about the bodies blanketed in ash at Herculaneum following the eruption of Pompeii when she was in high school.

She wanted to be an archaeologist after seeing a physical anthropologist on that program talk about what she had learned about people’s lives from the bones (she had no idea what a physical anthropologist was at the time).

Her father then gave her the book Witnesses from the Grave, which traces the establishment of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) and their efforts to identify those who were disappeared by the military junta in the 1970s, in the summer after my first year of college.

She read the book over the summer while working on the Stanford-in-Greece archaeological dig (she wasn’t qualified to work on the dig, but she was qualified to wash pottery while caring for the lead investigators’ 5-year-old son), and she was mesmerized, motivated, and perhaps a little obsessed.

She knew that she wanted to be a forensic anthropologist, and she knew that she wanted to specialize in human rights-related forensics, which was a relatively new distinction at the time. When she returned to Stanford for my second year, she began rearranging my curriculum to fit an Anthropological degree, andshe began visiting the three forensic anthropology graduate programs in various regions of the country.

Graduate school

Koff went on to the University of Arizona’s forensic anthropology master’s program. She earned her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska in 1999 after working for the United Nations between 1996 and 2000. Koff joined a tiny team of UN scientists exhuming victims of the Rwandan genocide when he was a 23-year-old Ph.D. student studying prehistoric skeletons in California. Her role was to gather evidence to prosecute the culprits and to help relatives in identifying their loved ones.

Books

The Bone Woman: Among the Dead in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (Random House), written by Koff, was published in 2004 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Argentina, and Canada, 2005 in France and Denmark, 2006 in Norway, Italy, and Portugal, and 2007 in Poland.

Freezing, the first book in the Jayne & Steelie Mystery Series, was released in August 2011 in the UK and December 2011 in the US by Severn House. Editions Hélose d’Ormesson has bought the French rights to the novel. The title of the second book in the series, Passing, has not yet been released. Koff is represented by Ellen Levine, Executive Vice President of Trident Media Group.

Missing Persons Identification Resource Center

Koff launched The Missing Persons Identification Resource Center (MPID) in Los Angeles in 2005, a non-profit organization dedicated to ‚Äúbasically uniting families with missing persons [in the US] with the Coroner‚Äôs Office, which holds thousands of unexplained bodies.‚ÄĚ The center was decommissioned in 2012.

Koff was consulted on the case of Mitrice Richardson, a 24-year-old woman who went missing after being released from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station when her remains were discovered in Dark Canyon. Koff expressed concerns about the investigation’s handling of the remains, as well as the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s claim that Richardson’s clothing was removed by animals.

Months after the coroner’s second examination of the region, Koff and members of Richardson’s family discovered a finger bone of Richardson’s at the spot. Rwanda was the site of the first acts of genocide since World War II, which occurred in the spring of 1994.

Clea Koff, a twenty-three-year-old forensic anthropologist in California who studies prehistoric skeletons, was one of sixteen scientists selected by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal to travel to Rwanda to unearth physical evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity two years later.

The Bone Woman is Koff’s riveting, intimate account of that expedition, as well as six others she undertook on behalf of the United Nations in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. In the end, it’s a narrative about hope, humanity, and justice. Random House in the United States, Hodder Headline in Australia, Atlantic in the United Kingdom, and Knopf in Canada published the book in 2004, and it was translated into nine languages by ten international publishers between 2004 and 2007.

Timeline

2011

Freezing, the first book in the Jayne & Steelie Mystery Series, was released in August 2011 in the UK and December 2011 in the US by Severn House. Editions Hélose d’Ormesson has bought the French rights to the novel. The title of the second book in the series, Passing, has not yet been released.

2005

Koff launched The Missing Folks Identification Resource Center (MPID) in Los Angeles in 2005, a non-profit organization dedicated to ‚Äúbasically uniting families with missing persons [in the US] with the Coroner‚Äôs Office, which holds thousands of unexplained bodies.‚ÄĚ The center was decommissioned in 2012.

2004

Koff’s book The Bone Woman: Among the Dead in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (Random House) was released in 2004 in the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Argentina, and Canada, 2005 in France and Denmark, 2006 in Norway, Italy, and Portugal, and 2007 in Poland.

1999

She earned her master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999 after working for the United Nations between 1996 and 2000.

1972

Clea Koff (born 1972) is an American forensic anthropologist and author who worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR; 2 missions) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (5 missions) in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo in 2000.

Mindo Mwinyipembe, a Tanzanian mother, and David Koff, an American father, both documentary filmmakers concentrating on human rights concerns, gave birth to Koff, who is mixed-race and Jewish, in 1972. Her parents traveled the world with her and her older brother, Kimera.

She lived in England, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and the United States during her childhood. She had decided to study human osteology when she was a teenager, which she did initially in California. Stanford University awarded her a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.

The greatest professional accomplishment is becoming a member of the first international forensic team to unearth evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the first international criminal tribunals since the Nuremberg trials after World War II. Our study supplied evidence to assist the indictments of the architects and organizers of extrajudicial executions of civilians, injured troops, and prisoners of war, which were carried out with impunity, if not arrogance.

The college studies involved a lot of cultural anthropology, and she was always pulled to ethnography, she believes because of a profound interest in people and their behavior across cultures. That background and passion, she believes, informed how she saw the work we did on the UN teams. Of course, we could spend days working over a group of bodies or digging deeper into a single grave, and the more time she spent with the dead like this, the more she became conscious of the individual’s life; she was aware that this person had tied the shoelace. she was either scraping off dirt or hooking the innerwear whose strap was stuck to a mummified shoulder. These bodies had numbers in our system and would be used as evidence in a report, but they were alive before all of that, and they are cherished family after all of that. Our study is a one-time event, but their humanity remains.

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