Death's Acre

Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab The Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales
Narrated by: George Grizzard
Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (422 ratings)

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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.

Critic Reviews

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

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What listeners say about Death's Acre

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This is an abridged version of the book.

I wish I had known that before I checked out. Once I discovered it was abridged I still finished listening to it, because I didn't want to waist my free trial. I still enjoyed the book and don't think I really missed out on anything important by hearing an abridged version of the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it esp the narrating.

the stories were also good. i hope to be able to find time to read it again.