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Reminiscences of June, a Traveling Grandmother

Chapter: 25 - 1993 - June's Cruise to Mexico










In October, (15-18) 1993, June with Stan, took her first and only ship cruise. It was a short cruise that departed from San Pedro, California. The ship was the "Viking Serenade", a part of the Royal Caribbean Line. June and Stan had an outside stateroom (Room 4058) so they always had a view of the ocean.

June and Stan had taken a Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles earlier in the day (arriving at 11:00 AM) where cab transportation (Super Shuttle) was arranged to take them and  the others to the embarkation pier at San Pedro. The embarkation point at San Pedro is located on the south edge of Los Angeles. 

The cruise was a forensic science conference cruise sponsored by the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts. (IABPA)  June and Stan's cruise tickets are shown below.




The IABPA Conference Program

Because the departure site of this conference cruise of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts was just south of Los Angeles, a number of the guest Speakers from the Los Angeles County court system were involved.

The guest speakers were: The Honorable Francis J. Hourigan, Los Angeles County Superior Court. Michael Clark, Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender’s Office. William Hodgman, Director of Central Operations, Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Although unknown at the time of the 1993 IABPA conference, William Hodgman would later play a key role in the prosecution of the notorious 1995 O. J. Simpson murder case. He later made this comments about his participation in that case:


When circumstances arose that we had to proceed to a preliminary hearing very early, the district attorney at the time, Gil Carcetti, asked me to work with prosecutor Marcia Clark to get through the preliminary. The preliminary hearing took about a week. At the conclusion Mr. Garcetti asked me to stay on and so I took a more active role in the case. Marcia Clark and I argued the pretrial motions. We performed the jury selection aspect of the case together, and then as we approached trial per se, my role was much more limited thereafter


Dr. Henry Lee was also a featured conference speaker who would also play a key role in the later O. J. Simpson murder case as a crime scene analyst for the defense…the title of his IABPA conference talk was: “Enhancement of Bloodstain Patterns for Crime Scene Reconstruction.”

Six of the conference speakers were IABPA association members…The conference technical program was held on the afternoon of the 17th.


 Although June worried about getting seasick, the weather was good, the sea was calm and no such problems resulted.

June and Stan remember well, the large amounts of non-stop food that was available on the cruise. June however passed on the elaborate "Mid-night buffets."

The cruise went to Catalina Island and then on to Ensenada, Mexico. The return was from Ensenada directly to San Pedro.

June and Stan were pleased to have an outside stateroom with a view of the ocean.  

The Royal Caribbean "Cruise Itinerary" listed departure from San Pedro at 6:00 PM on October 15th. The loading or Embarkation" was to begin at 1:00 PM.

Arrival at Ensenada, Mexico was scheduled for October 16th at 9:00 AM. Departure from Ensenada took place in the afternoon at 4:00 PM.  

October 17th is simply listed as "At Sea"...June and Stan did go ashore for a short time in Mexico. The time however was limited so June was happy to just go ashore, wander the dock area and photograph the ship from ashore. 


June Berg Cruise 1993
  (June about to enjoy a special Ice Cream Desert)


Arrival back at Los Angeles was the next morning of October 18th. While not shown on the official printed itinerary, Catalina Island was included as a visit but not a stop.

Everyone had been issued a small white plastic ID "Cruise" card for use on the trip. The ship is designated as the "Viking Serenade" and the voyage as No. 292 with sailing date of 15 October 1993. 

June's and Stan's name were printed on the card along with passenger ID No. 5464451.

Their stateroom is designated at 4058. The dining room to be used has the unusual name of the "Magic Flute".  Their seating was "Main" at table 44.

When the ship reached international waters a gambling salon was opened. June and Stan were not gamblers and passed on this event.

The Viking Serenade Staff made a conference room available that was large enough to accommodate the attendee's and that had facilities to enable the speakers to make their presentations. (Conference Room A on the 4th floor.)

While this first cruise for June and Stan was a short one it was a fun time and a relaxing time. June enjoyed sitting on a top deck in a recliner type chair.

Nancy Sperber- Conference Host

This rather unusual forensic science conference aboard a ship was arranged and hosted by Nancy Sperber who is/was a successful attorney specializing in criminal defense cases. Her office at that time was in Los Angeles on Wilshire Boulevard.

Since this conference was to be the tenth (10th) annual conference of the IABPA, the organizers desired to make the conference a unique and different one from all others.  This goal was certainly accomplished.

Nancy has now been June and Stane's friend for many years. She was a very devoted member of the IABPA. June and Stan first met Nancy at one of the early International Association of Blood Stain Pattern Analysts conferences and they would renew their friendship at each of the succeeding conferences.

Nancy was an unusual attorney. Active membership in this organization (IABPA) was limited to persons who had taken the prescribed basic 40 hour course on blood stain pattern analysis. Nancy arranged to take the course and qualify for active membership. Stan also took the same course and was a "Certified Blood Stain Pattern Analyst" in addiition to his specialty of a Forensic Firearms Specialist and Expert.

Nancy later commented on how she followed June's sad progress into the shadows of  Alzheimer's.  June saw Nancy for the last time at the IABPA Conference in Harrisburg in 2002. As Alzheimer's started closing in on June, conference attendance of necessity was gradually eliminated. Nancy later (29 March 2009) made an entry in June's Funeral Guest Book. (This entry can still be seen.)

Nancy told of her concern for June, that she had been asking about June's progress and was sorry to hear of the passing of "Such a Fine lady".


          (June at the railing - with Ensenada, Mexico in background)

            June Berg 1993 Cruise to Mexico