Saturday, February 28, 2009

body snatchers

Why would anyone steal a skull from the Body Farm? Or as the Orlando Homicide Report asks, "what kind of weirdo steals human skulls?" Especially since it's so easy to find a realistic plastic skull. A fallen tree may have made the theft possible. It landed on the two fences surrounding the facility. The bad guys probably crawled along the tree and into the enclosure where they grabbed the body parts. According to the News Sentinel, anthropology researchers at first assumed that an animal had carried the remains away. They got that right.

My ongoing search for Body Farm news resulted in three new items being added to my Amazon Wish List today. British author Simon Beckett has written three novels about a fictional forensic anthropologist named David Hunter who had trained at the famous Body Farm. The third book in the series, "Whispers of the Dead," finds Hunter traveling from his London home back to the Body Farm in Knoxville. While there, he is asked to help investigate a murder in Gatlinburg. I made the mistake of starting Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta novels with "The Body Farm," the fifth book in the series. I'll be sure to read Simon Beckett's books in order, starting with "The Chemistry of Death" and continuing with "Written in Bone." Beckett got the idea for his novels when he came to Knoxville to write an article about the National Forensic Academy for the Daily Telegraph Magazine.

This one last piece of Body Farm news shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. There is a Facebook group for fans of the place. As of tonight, it has 776 members.

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