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Death's Acre: 01/03/08
The body farm is a forensic tool invented by Dr. Bill Bass in 1971. Cadavers donated to science are allowed to decompose under a variety of environmental conditions. The progress is documented for use in future forensic investigations.
Death's Acre recounts the career of Dr. Bill Bass and the early years of modern forensic science as it evolved from anthropology. The first hundred pages of this three hundred page book is spent on Bass's early career. As I was most interested in the Body Farm, i found this portion a slog to get through. I did learn a bit about anthropology and working in the desert and on avoiding snakes but it wasn't what I had set out to read.
Fortunately things pick up on page 100. The remainder of the book is a series of fascinating chapters on how environmental factors affect decomposition and the mistakes criminals make when trying to hide or destroy bodies.