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Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales Paperback – October 5, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In this memoir, Bass, a premier forensic anthropologist, recounts how a life spent studying dead bodies led to the creation of "The Anthropolgy Research Facility" (aka the Body Farm), a plot of land near the University of Tennessee Medical Center where Bass and his colleagues monitor the decomposition of human corpses in various environments. The book is structured around the 1981 creation of the Body Farm, and the early chapters focus on some of Bass's trickier cases to demonstrate his need for more information about the science of forensics. The later chapters take a closer look at how the scientific analysis of Body Farm corpses has helped Bass and other anthropologists solve some of the toughest and most bizarre cases of their distinguished careers. Though professional and conscientious when describing the medical facts of each case, Bass, writing with journalist Jefferson, proves to be a witty storyteller with a welcome sense of humor. He also does a nice job balancing accounts of death and decomposition with decidedly not-so-morbid tidbits from his personal life. Furthermore, the poignancy of how he reacts to the deaths of his first two wives reflects the compassion he feels for the dead and their surviving family members he encounters in his working life. Bass may deal with the dead, but he has a lust for life that comes across in his writing. While the grisly details may not make this a must-read for everyone, those who do pick it up might just be pleasantly surprised by how Bass brings death to life.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School--Not for the "faint of stomach," this is the story of one man's questto identify murder victims. Bass, who created the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility, which is devoted to research on human decomposition, mixes scientific and personal anecdotes in such a way that readers are hooked from the first page. Readability, however, never loses out to accuracy, and the mix is quite an accomplishment. The author explains the process of decomposition and how bones give clues to identity: approximate age, sex, height, and race, all of which are needed to bring the forensic scientist one step closer to putting a name to a corpse. He describes some of the cases he has been involved with and laughs at himself when he shares stories of mistakes and assumptions. Young adults will gain insight into the forensic process and appreciate Bass's dedication to the truth and his work.--Peggy Bercher, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I clean after homicide, suicide, and unattended deaths. Often I wonder about human decomposition following violent deaths because of ugly death scenes I clean. Naturally Death's Acre came to my attention while researching decomposition and forensics.
My interests in anthropology and police science began when I took anthropology and a police science courses in the 70's. Now I am pleased to return to these subjects in such an enjoyable book. It is a book full of facts and insights to forensics, life, and death.
I read Death's Acre on my Kindle. For me this book unveiled the Kindle's potential. All I wanted to do was read the absorbing stories and Kindle's text features helped to enlarge text and mark what stood out. There's a lot to mark because Death's Acre shares personal tragedy and scientific method. Thumbs up.