In Memory of Rex Stockham
Rex Aaron Stockham, 53, a Supervisory Special Agent in the Laboratory Division in the FBI, passed away on Saturday, October 8, 2016, after an 18 month battle with cancer.
Rex was a founding member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal detector Guidelines (SWGDOG), served on the Executive Board and co-chaired the Scent Dogs Subcommittee. More recently, Rex was a member of the Dogs and Sensors subcommittee of Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC).
Rex graduated in 1984 with a degree in Chemistry from West Liberty State College in West Virginia and earned a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University.
Rex began his FBI career in 1984 as a Mail Clerk and was promoted to a Technician in the Laboratory Division’s Explosives Unit. He entered New Agents’ Class in May 1988, and upon graduation, was transferred to the Houston Division, where he investigated Violent Crimes. In 1988, he transferred back to the Laboratory Division as an Explosives Examiner in the Explosives Unit. In 2005, he transferred to the Laboratory Division’s Evidence Response Team Unit and was most recently assigned to the Laboratory Division’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center. He was a Board member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detection Guidelines (SWGDOG), and a member of the National Institute for Standards and Technology – Dogs and Sensors Subcommittee (NIST), where he was an active contributor for developing training and certification standards for numerous disciplines of detector canines. He had peer reviewed scientific articles published in Forensic Science Communication and Forensic Science International.
Rex worked numerous high profile cases, including the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing in Oklahoma City; Shanksville, Pennsylvania; Amerithrax; the Pentagon and DC Sniper cases; the Boston Bombing, numerous international bombing investigations, and the Jessica Ridgeway, Gabrielle Swainson, and Holly Bobo child abduction and murder investigations.
Rex believed his greatest accomplishment with the Bureau was the work he and his team did in developing the FBI’s Forensic Canine Program, one of the only scientifically backed canine law enforcement programs in the world. He was responsible for creating one of the only researched-based programs used with forensic canines to help augment investigations. He pioneered new techniques and practices for the use of human scent evidence and victim recovery canines in investigations. These techniques and practices are still in use today.
His impact on the advancement of canine training philosophies has assisted numerous law enforcement agencies in canine casework successes. He often partnered with the Behavioral Analysis Unit, Cellular Analysis Survey Team, and Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team to develop comprehensive search strategies.
Rex was recognized as a subject matter expert for canine testimony and successfully withstood a Daubert challenge for human scent evidence in the 9th Circuit Court.
Rex was an active parishioner in his church. His hobbies included building street rods, politics, but most especially spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife, three sons, two daughters, mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew.
At Rex’s request, memorial donations may be made to the Kody Snodgrass Memorial Foundation, Inc., 5162 S. Manatee Terrace, Homosassa, FL 34446. This organization’s mission is to train and provide bloodhounds to law enforcement agencies throughout the country for use in the search for missing children.