There’s a place called the Body Farm in Knoxville, TN just a few short hours from where I live. The Body Farm notoriously houses an assortment of corpses in various stages of decay. Some in the trunks of cars, some laying out in the open Tennessee sun, and others in assorted sets of carefully monitored circumstances – all in the name of science. Naturally, I’ve always been intrigued by the Body Farm where professionals like forensic scientists and medical examiners learn more about what happens to us after death in the name of solving crimes and medical mysteries.
My husband’s annual family reunion at Lake Michigan was the perfect opportunity to hole up with a good nonfiction book (or three…). I used the getaway as an opportunity to learn more about the famed Body Farm and all that takes place at the macabre facility. And, I was delighted to find my education interesting and informative, so much so that I stayed awake late night and waking up early just to fit in a few pages before daily distractions ensued. If you’re up for one last gripping summer read, here’s more about Dr. Bill Bass’ Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales.
Dr. Bill Bass is one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists. From revisiting the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, to helping solve a series of murder cases and mysteries, in Death’s Acre, Dr. Bass shares the most intriguing tales from his career. He has assisted the FBI and numerous other law enforcement agencies solve an a number of bizarre crimes. Ultimately, these experiences all lead up to his founding of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. The lab is the first of its kind and is devoted to the study of human decomposition.
Death’s Acre is a compelling read. Dr Bill Bass’ personality shines through the book and the reader can tell he’s a likable guy. Despite the morbidity of his career, Bass portrays his work on criminal cases professionally and scientifically making Death’s Acre an intriguing read for healthcare providers. Furthermore, tidbits about Dr. Bass’ personal life are a reminder of the balance between the personal and professional and make the book even more engaging. Dr. Bass has founded his career on studying the dead, but it’s clear that he’s had quite a life!