Task force probes Monroeville native's killing in Nebraska

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Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer sent a message Monday to the killer or killers responsible for one -- and perhaps two -- double slayings that have left the city and Creighton University on edge.

"I would not want this task force coming after me," Chief Schmaderer said.

Omaha police, the FBI, Nebraska State Patrol and the Douglas County attorney's office have joined forces to investigate possible ties between the deaths of Roger Brumback, a native of Monroeville, and Mary Brumback, both 65, and the March 2008 fatal stabbings of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman, 57, inside the Hunters' home in Dundee, an Omaha neighborhood.

Dr. Brumback was a friend and colleague of Drs. William and Claire Hunter at the Creighton University School of Medicine. Thomas was their son; Sherman was the family's housekeeper.

Dr. Brumback was a 1965 graduate of Gateway High School and Penn State University's medical school. Dr. Brumback and his wife met at Penn State, where Mrs. Brumback studied pharmacy before pursuing a career in law.

Chief Schmaderer announced the formation of the task force, whose sole assignment is to solve the four homicides, during a news conference Monday.

The task force is made up of more than a dozen homicide detectives, including several from the Police Department's cold-case unit, which has been working on the Dundee slayings for several years.

Deputy Chief Mary Newman is overseeing the group. She has been with the department for 24 years and will relinquish some of her regular duties to focus on the task force's work.

Chief Newman has "intimate knowledge" of both double homicides, the chief said. Assisting her will be Capt. Kerry Neumann, a 17-year-veteran who heads the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Several FBI agents also are on the task force. The state patrol and county attorney's office will be at the group's disposal if needed.

Chief Schmaderer said that investigators have made a request through the Omaha FBI office for assistance from the FBI's national behavioral analysis unit.

In the summer of 2008, after months of investigation had failed to solve the Dundee murders, police turned to the FBI for assistance, including a request that the behavioral analysis unit develop a criminal profile of the killer.

The World-Herald has previously reported, based on sources' accounts, that the FBI's behavioral profilers at that time concluded the Dundee slayings appeared to be random homicides, possibly committed by a transient serial killer.

If there is a connection between the Dundee slayings and the murders of the Brumbacks, it would appear that profile no longer would be applicable.

At the time of the Dundee slayings, Dr. Brumback was William Hunter's boss in the pathology department. Claire Hunter is in the cardiology department.

The Brumbacks' bodies were discovered by a piano mover last week inside the couple's home.

Chief Schmaderer on Monday declined to say how and when they were killed, citing the ongoing investigation.

He said no details will be released unless police believe it will help the investigation.

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