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Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab The Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales | [Dr. Bill Bass, Jon Jefferson]

Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab The Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales

Nowhere is there another lab like Dr. Bill Bass's: on a hillside in Tennessee, human bodies decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. At the "Body Farm," nature takes its course, with corpses buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, concealed beneath slabs of concrete, locked in trunks of cars. As stand-ins for murder victims, they serve the needs of science, and the cause of justice.
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Publisher's Summary

Nowhere is there another lab like Dr. Bill Bass's: on a hillside in Tennessee, human bodies decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. At the "Body Farm," nature takes its course, with corpses buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, concealed beneath slabs of concrete, locked in trunks of cars. As stand-ins for murder victims, they serve the needs of science, and the cause of justice.

For thirty years, Dr. Bass's research has revolutionized the field of forensic science, particularly by pinpointing "time since death" in murder cases. In this riveting audiobook, he investigates real cases and leads listeners on an unprecedented journey behind the locked gates of the Body Farm. A master scientist and an engaging storyteller, Bass shares his most intriguing work: his revisit of the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact; the mystery of a headless corpse whose identity astonished the police; the telltale bugs that finally sent a murderous grandfather to death row; and many more.

Forensic science and murder investigations are among the most fascinating topics of our time. Dominating television and print media, the subjects could not be hotter. As one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists, Dr. Bill Bass is the premier guide to this unusual realm.

Includes a forward written by Patricia Cornwell.

©2003 Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All Rights Reserved. Audioworks Is An Imprint Of Simon & Schuster, Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Bass, writing with journalist Jefferson, proves to be a witty storyteller with a welcome sense of humor." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (212 )
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4.2 (53 )
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  •  
    Aries Seattle, WA, USA 09-21-04
    Aries Seattle, WA, USA 09-21-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Promising but falls just shy of delivering"

    Expecting discussions about this facinating facility where bodies are left to decompose for the purpose of study - I was left wanting. What I heard was more or less the life of Dr. Bill Bass, his life and research. Don't get me wrong. I found his story to be intriguing and inspiring. He has taken forensic research to a different level, tackling a subject matter that would leave you with horrible visions. What I was hoping for was a book detailing the studies conducted at anthropological institute. Details of how the research is done, studies and results.

    It is not a bad book by any means. Hearing about the challenges he faced both in his work and life validates his humanity. I would recommend this book for those wanting to learn about who this man is and his visions rather than those looking to hear fine details about the facility.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Cranston, RI, USA 01-26-04
    Jessica Cranston, RI, USA 01-26-04 Member Since 2002
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    "Fascinating and Emotional"

    I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It contains many fascinating forensics cases, and information about experiments performed at the body farm. It also has several emotional moments where Dr. Bass writes about how death has touched his own life.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer St. Louis, Missouri United States 12-13-03
    Amazon Customer St. Louis, Missouri United States 12-13-03 Member Since 2003

    raven1965

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    "Interesting and Enjoyayble"

    I really enjoyed this book. It may be a little vivid for some. I found it fascinating and well written. I would recomend it, especially to science minded people.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 03-29-09
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 03-29-09 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict.

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    "Unsatisfying and lacking in detail"

    I was quite disappointed by this audiobook. I expected a great deal more forensic science detail than was offered. I also expected a great deal less biographical material on the author.

    Neither truly a book on the forensic practices of "Death's Acre", nor a straight up autobiography of the author, it languishes somewhere between the two and skims over both.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Savannah, GA, USA 06-26-07
    Jamie Savannah, GA, USA 06-26-07
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    "dissapointed"

    I loved the book "Dead men do tell tales" but this wasn't really the same. I expected more stories and I didn't really like a lot of the background - how he and his professor met, how he met his 2nd wife, how they dated, her medical problems. I didn't want to hear how he started the body farm...blah blah...Call me selfish, I wanted to hear lots and lots of stoires and it wasn't a whole lot.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janis Luft SF Bay Area 03-21-07
    Janis Luft SF Bay Area 03-21-07 Member Since 2004
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    "Loving the dead"

    My only regret about this listen is that it was an abridged version. I loved this account about the "birth" of forensic anthropology. Well told tale of an interesting life and the origins of the Body Farm.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Parkland, PA, United States 02-28-10
    Sharon Parkland, PA, United States 02-28-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Must have missed something!"

    Not anything like I thought it was about. Really didn't want to know about the life of the author. Couldn't even finish it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Lombard, IL, USA 12-09-05
    Teresa Lombard, IL, USA 12-09-05
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    "Death's Acre"

    I really enjoyed this book. I am from the Knoxville area originally and most of the crimes he discussed were familiar to me. It was very interesting to hear how he helped to solve them. I think Dr. Bass is a terrific storyteller and the book kept my interest. It takes you a step further than CSI and gives you a lot of background on how time of death is determined, etc. Highly recommended if you are at all interested in the topic of forensics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristin Ames, IA, United States 06-13-13
    Cristin Ames, IA, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Real world forensic anthropology, bugs and all!"
    What did you love best about Death's Acre?

    Dr. Bass's perspective and clear expertise in the field. He has written more than a few of my osteological textbooks and it was downright fun to hear how he describes his own experiences, how he has accumulated his considerable library of knowledge.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    How Dr. Bass and Jon Jefferson managed to convey the absolute respect that is necessary when dealing with human remains as well as interesting, scientifically accurate, entertaining, humorous and in some cases heart rending situations that led to the need of Dr. Bass's expertise.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Sylvania, OH, United States 03-25-12
    Jane Sylvania, OH, United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2005
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    "A fascinating listen"

    This is a pretty interesting composition on how the human body deteriorates after death. This topic is certainly NOT for everyone, as much of what happens to the human body following death is kind of grotesque; especially if the body is left for dead several days or more. You'll pick up some interesting information on forensics, as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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