Stanton O. Berg, Forensic Scientist
Stanton O. Berg is a Forensic Scientist born (June 14th, 1928) in the small town of Barron, Wisconsin at the end of the "Roaring Twenties" and just as the world was about to enter the "Great Depression" years...Stan grew up in poverty on a small 20 acre farm near Rice Lake, Wisconsin. As Stan was about to attend High School, World War II started. Stan graduated from Rice Lake, High School (1946) a year after World War II ended in 1945...World War II was credited with ending the "Great Depression) as every able bodied man was needed in the War effort...in June 1948, Stan enlisted in the U.S. Army for assignment to the Counter Intelligence Corp. Center (CIC) in Baltimore, Maryland. Stan served for 4 years that included his 4th year during the Korean War. Stan was discharged in June of 1952.
Stan's birth name was "Candler", the name of his natural father (Royce Neal Candler) who abandoned both Stan and Stan's mother Ellen, a month after Stan's birth...Stan's mother's 2nd marriage was to a Percy Berg, of Barron, Wisconsin. Stan's mother later secured a legal change of Stan's name from Candler to Berg, (Stan's first stepfather's name), in order to match Stan's school records. Stan's later efforts to reconnect with the "Berg" family were unsuccessful. Percy's mother was Etta Berg who lived in Barron, Wisconsin and she was the one who gave the early Rice Lake, Berg's the small 20 acre farm. Percy's Brother Leonard Berg who lived in Bayport, Minnesota and operated a Drug Store there, was a frequent visitor to the small farm and always brought "left over" magazine's from the store. Stan always loved the magazine gifts and it added a bright spot to his life. However, when Percy died of cancer, that was the last he saw of Leonard. Stan tried to make a reconnect in later years along with June. Stan and June visited the Bayport, Minnesota "Berg Drug Store" in an effort to reconnect. Circa the 1960s) While Leonard visited courteously with June and Stan, he gave no indication of wanting to reconnect that part of the past Berg Family nor offered any invitations for later visits. So Stan's efforts to make a "reconnect" were a total failure.
Stan had a DNA sample tested by "Ancestry" in November 2017. The results of the DNA testing indicates that Stan's "Ethnicity" estimates show 61% Scandinavia, 14% Great Britain, 8% Europe West and 7% Ireland/Scotland/Wales...Indicated Migrations are Western Norway in Europe and the Ohio River Valley, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Settlements in the USA.
Researching the English - Irish connection further, indicates that there was an English surname Candler first found in Lancashire where they had a family sect from ancient times...with indications of well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD.
Stan's mother was the one who molded Stan's forensic science life...during the "Great Depression" days, money was in short supply, but Stan's mother's gifts to Stan at Christmas time and Stan's Birthday. were always intended to influence his curiosity in the sciences and engineering...while other rural family parents would give their children toy tractors and cars, Stan's mother Ellen always gave him gifts of Gilbert Chemistry sets and Gilbert Erector Sets. It was clear that Stan's mother did what she could to increase his interests in the sciences.
From the time of Stan's graduation from High School in Rice Lake, Wisconsin in 1946, Stan started his studies and his dreams of a "life time" in the Forensic Sciences...Stan's career in the Forensic Sciences started in 1947 did not end until the year 2005. It was in 2005, that Stan closed his Forensic Science Consulting Business in order to devote his full-time to June's care as she approached the middle stages of her Alzheimer's disease...Stan had dedicated some 58 years of his life to the Forensic Sciences...Beginning during the years from 1947 and through the years of the 1950s, and up through the year 2004. During this 58 year time period, Stan was involved in every major case involving forensic firearms or Forensic Ballistics.
There is the thought often expressed that in the nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties that life and accomplishments moved at a slower pace...the facts show otherwise...even without the tools of modern-day science such as computers, calculators and iPhones, the were the times of the dawning of the atomic age and the space age. Stan's life in a very short time of four (4) years changed dramatically during this time period. Stan's age periods were age 17- 20:
1. Stan was age 17 when he Graduated from High School in May 1946.
2. Stan became age 18 in June 1946 - under Public Law had to register for Military Draft at local draft board.
3. Stan attended Fingerprint School - Institute of Applied Science, Chicago, September 1947, age 19.
4. Stan Enlisted in the U.S. Army May 1948, age 19 and had his Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
5. Stan was assigned - Army Counter intelligence Corp. CIC, Fort Holabird, Baltimore, MD later 1948 at age 20.
6. Stan started volunteering services at the Baltimore Police Criminal Identification Division also 1948 age 20.
It was on May 3rd, 1948, Stan enlisted in the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corp. and was stationed at the Army Counter Intelligence Corp. Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Stan was "Honorably" discharged from the Army on May 2nd, 1953. (Stan's Army Serial No was RA-16-284-530) Stan's rank at the time of his discharge was enlisted grade 4. Stan's basic training was with the 3rd Armored Division, Fort Knox, Kentucky, where Stan received an "Expert Rifleman" medal and rating with the .30 caliber, M1 Garand Rifle. Stan was also qualified with the .30 caliber M1 Carbine and the M3 Sub-Machine Gun, as well as the 38 caliber double action revolver. The .38 caliber revolver was the official side arm of the Counter Intelligence Corp. Because of the job requirements of the Counter Intelligence Corp., Stan received a "Top Secret" clearance. (This 4-year period of Army service was immediately prior to and during the Korean War) Stan studied Law while in the CIC, and obtained an LL.B Degree after successfully taking his legal examinations under supervision of the Judge Advocate General's Department. Because Stan qualified for additional educational benefits following his discharge, Stan enrolled in a Radio and Television Technician School (National Schools, Los Angeles 37, CA) on 2-16-54. Stan completed the school on 5-2-59 (138 lessons) with a rating of "Radio and Television Technician". Stan elected however, to pursue and to make his future career in the Forensic Sciences, where Stan's CIC experience was also of benefit.
Army Medals/Ribbons and Awards...During the four (4) years of Stan's Army enlistment (1948-1952) Stan was awarded three medals/ribbons...(1.) The first medal Stan received was for an Expert rating in the use/firing of the M1 Garand 30-06 rifle...(Stan Scored 196 points out a possible 200)...(2.) The Second Medal/Ribbon Stan received was the "Good Conduct Medal". This Medal is awarded for "Three Years of Exemplary, Behavior, Efficiency and Fidelity in Active Military Service.)...(3.) The Third Medal Stan received was the "Korean War Service Medal"....There were several variations of Korean War Service Medals...Most required service within the Korean War Zone during wartime...(1950-1952) Stan's Korean War Service Medal/Ribbon was simply for service during the Korean War...(1950-1952) Stan did not serve in Korea.
During the years of 1952 to 1984, some 32 years, Stan was also engaged in a successful parallel career with the State Farm Insurance Companies. During his State Farm Years, Stan first started out as a Field Claim Representative in the Hibbing, Minnesota Claim Service office and later the Duluth Claim Service Office. It was in the year 1957, that Stan was promoted to the position of a Claim Superintended at State Farm's newly opened Regional Office in Roseville, Minnesota. Stan continued to receive other management promotions until he finally retired from State Farm after 32 years to devote the remainder of his working life to his Forensic Science Consulting career. Stan was the Regional Manager (Minnesota and Wisconsin) of the State Farm Fire and Casualty Company when he left State Farm in 1984 to pursue a full-time career in the Forensic Sciences. State Farm was always very supportive of Stan's activities in the Forensic Sciences.
Stan's career in the Forensic Sciences involved both work in the Criminal as well as the Civil sides of the Forensic Sciences...Forensic Science is defined as the "Study and the Application of Science to Law or the Purposes of Law". Since many popular TV Shows now relate to the forensic sciences, everyone wants to cash in on the term "Forensic Science" or just the word "Forensic."...Stan recently watched a TV show on some "archeological" investigations in some early day English ruins. The story termed one of the archeologists as a forensic archeologist...frankly their work was simply "Archeology" and had nothing to do with the forensic sciences.
Stan handled many cases that involved the accidental discharge of a firearm either due to negligent handling of the firearm or due to the faulty design of the firearm. One of the earliest of such Product Liability cases that Stan handled, was a case in Alaska Federal Court at Fairbanks, Alaska in the late 1970s...this case resulted in Punitive Damages against the Ruger Firearms Company and a multimillion-dollar verdict. (Day v. Sturm Ruger and Company) It was considered an historic case in the area of Firearms Products Liability...This was probably the earliest products liability case involving firearms. Stan handled many Firearms Product Liability cases following the historic Ruger Case.
(Michael James Day v. Sturm, Ruger and Company. Case alleged the defective design of a Sturm, Ruger and Company manufactured .41 Magnum Caliber Single Action Revolver. The Ruger fired when accidentally dropped while in the loading notch position. The accident took place on 30 July 1972. Action was brought in Alaskan Federal Court. The Jury found against the Sturm, Ruger and Company. Damages were $137,759 compensatory damages and $2,895,000 in Punitive Damages. After various appeals the Supreme Court in Alaska found that the Sturm, Ruger and Company revolver was defective in design and awarded damages to the plaintiff.)
Stan's later work also included Airguns safety design and Products Liability.
In Firearms the key areas that need design safety considerations were/are the magazines in semi-automatic pistols (Magazine Safeties) the exposed hammer guns and their safety notch positions with "false notch" and impact discharge potentials.
During Stan's forensic consulting career, he handled approx. 1000 cases and testified in legal proceedings about 356 times. (Federal, Military, State, Territorial and local courts, including The Ontario Supreme Court in Saulte Ste Marie, Canada) Stan's testimony was also introduced in a Murder case in behalf of the Japanese Government. Stan with June as his Administrative Assistant, attended about 170 Forensic Science Conferences, in the U.S, Canada and Europe including Russia...Stan was almost always a Speaker at the conference and on four (4) occasions he served as the Chairman of the Firearms Symposiums at the Conference...
Stan was the Chairman at the Edinburgh Conference in 1972, Chairman of the Zurich Conference in 1975, Chairman of the Bergen Conference in 1981 and Chairman of the Düsseldorf Conference in 1993.
Stan authored over 185 articles in Peer Review Publications and has Chapters in three (3) Books.
As Stan looks back on his career in the Forensic Sciences, he finds that he has had involvement in some way or the other in several prominent shooting cases in what Stan would call the "Wild 60's" and into the 70's.
The President John Kennedy assassination in 1963...the Robert Kennedy Assassination in 1968...The Martin Luther king Assassination in 1968...The Chicago Police Raid on Black Panther Headquarters in 1969 that resulted in the death of 2 Panthers and the wounding of 4 others, 2 police officers were also wounded.
SLA - Symbionese Liberation Army
The 1973, SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army) ambush shooting of Oakland (CA) School Supt. Marcus Foster with cyanide tipped bullets.
The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) ws an American Left-Wing Terrorist Organization said to have been active between 1973–1975. The group committed bank robberies, two murders and other acts of violence.The leaders were Donald DeFreeze and William Harris. Their headquarters was San Francisco.
The SLA received national attention when they kidnapped Heiress Patricia Hearst, (Father was noted for his Hearst News Publications) who later joined forces with the SLA and was photographed participating in an armed bank robbery with a sub-machine gun.
Stan later testified in California Superior Court on his examination and findings of his examination of some test fired bullets from a same make and model gun as used in an SLA shooting.
Stan first met June (Rolstad) in May 1951, while Stan was home on leave from the Army...for Stan it was love at first sight. It was just six (6) months later in November 1951, that Stan and June became engaged to be married...their marriage followed in August 1952...both were then age 25. Stan.and June were married for 56 Years before the terrible disease Alzheimer's took June away...(1952-2008) June and Stan were both Christians and June is now in her Heavenly Home awaiting Stan's arrival...Stan and June have 4 Children (David, Daniel, Susan and Julie) They also have 22 Grandchildren, great grandchildren. and one great, great grandchild. One great Grandchild was named "June" in Honor of his Great Grandmother...Stan was honored by two of his grandchildren having his middle name of "Oneal" as their middle name. (Steven and Erik).
It was on 18 October 2012, that Stan and June lost their oldest son David...he passed away at Fairview Southdale Hospital, Minneapolis, another victim of Lung Cancer due to smoking.
Since June's death from Alzheimer's in 2008, Stan has devoted his remaining years to honoring June's Memory as well as promoting Alzheimer's awareness, research, funding and proper care practices.
During Stan's daily prayers, Stan thanks God for the incredible life that God granted to Stan and June...a life that was far beyond Stan's wildest imaginations, day dreams or the building of "Air Castles"...."Thank You God".
Stan and Poetry. While Stan seldom looks at himself as a Poet, Stan finds himself resorting more and more to poetry in order to better tell the story of June and Stan's life together or to add color or empathize a story or a point in their life. Most of Stan's poetry will however be found on the pages of June's Memorial Website that Stan created (2008) in June's Honor and Memory. ("June's Journey Through Alzheimer's")
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