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Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top Csi Trainingschool

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  473 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Two National Forensic Science Institute administrators invite readers into what the Washington Post calls "the Harvard of hellish violence"-the only hands-on CSI school of its kind where students are trained in burial recovery with actual human remains. With exclusive access to a world normally off-limits to the public, this is the first book to go behind the scenes of the ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Berkley (first published January 3rd 2006)
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Feb 26, 2014 Vanessa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received this as a gift a while ago and never got around to reading it. I very rarely find a book I can't finish, but I couldn't get through this. The writing style is absolutely insufferable, and I found it disappointing that it's written by two people with no medical background. Nor are the authors actual writers, and it shows. The subject matter is potentially fascinating, and there are a lot of great books out there about death and forensics, but this book reads like an infomercial for the ...more
Jun 11, 2007 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
This was a lot of fun. Gory, naturally, and now I know exactly what happens to the body when hit by a car and during drowning and fires, and intend on moving my smoke alarm from its current place to a more centrally located one, to avoid what happens to a body during a fire. Nicely laid out, shows how CSIs investigate, what to look for, what things mean, and how they teach all of the above. The authors have a fun sense of humor that really comes through, and they clearly love their jobs. Very in ...more
Jun 19, 2010 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, work
Many times I thought the authors made too much of themselves -- how very great they are, but I can let that slide, because having a National Forensic Academy is pretty cool. I also didn't agree with everything they talk about -- when I need to collect DNA from someone, I have never said..."let me pull some pubic hairs" -- ew. But, overall, a good book with some good ideas.

Pg 55: Lightly mist vinegar over the object a print is believed to be. The vinegar reacts with the fats and oils in the prin
Jennifer Ready
Very interesting and thorough book on the ins and outs of forensic science. The NFA sounds very we'll run and valuable. I enjoyed the factual elements of the book, but had to give it three stars because of the clumsy writing and some of the strange moments that made me raise an eyebrow. The writing, understood, is not that of professionals, but I found it heavy handed and forced, and sometimes too detailed. At times, it was hard to determine whether the book was about Amy and Jarrett or the task ...more
May 29, 2008 Nikii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This introduction to the inner workings of America's best forensic training school lacked only one major component--a good editor. The most startling, and unintentionally amusing, goof took place in the first paragraph of chapter 12, in which the authors are describing a visit to a prison:

"Vile, palatable wickedness hangs along every hallway like spiderwebs..."

Palatable? Hee.

While much of the information on forensic evidence and techniques is old hat to longtime readers of similar works, they s
Dec 18, 2014 Jaylynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thought this book was going to be more story based. It is more "how to". Good read if you are planning on being a crime scene investigator, otherwise, just a waste of time.
Dec 30, 2010 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any True Crime lover
i finished this in just a few hours. While the other half cheerfully watched The Guns of Navarone, I continued to sneak paragraphs from this wonderful hardcover. I had picked it up just yesterday afternoon from Hampstead House books and flew through it in short order.

What I found really fascinating is that neither Amy nor Jarrett have any background in police work at all, yet they run this Academy virtually alone. Now, after several years of the school being in business there is over a 3 year wa
Mar 29, 2015 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, science
This book is a history and curriculum of the National Forensic Academy. Personally, I loved this book. The writers style was very authentic a fairly conversational, I could almost hear them talking to me as I read. The anecdotes were great, laughed out loud several times and kept trying to get my wife to read various passages that I thought were especially good.
If you are going to teach forensic science, this book will give you ideas to use and lessons on what to emphasize and what to avoid. If
Apr 16, 2015 Abby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical, nonfiction
This book is one big advertisement for the NFA. It talks on and on about how much they do for their students to learn. I don't doubt any of the information in the book however there is a paragraph stating how they always have to prove themselves. You should. Your instructors don't. They should be the authors of this book, not the 2 business people. Neither has any medical, law enforcement, or firefighting background. The subject of this book is very interesting, the execution of this book was te ...more
Dec 31, 2014 KatieDMD rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dumbass-books
I wanted to like this book so much. It is right up my alley - forensics, crime fighting, references to the coolest place in America - the Body Farm! But it is in SERIOUS need of a good editor. It could be salvaged, if someone just took a red pen and eliminated unnecessary paragraphs, rephrased sentences, fixed spelling and grammatical errors and just tightened up the narrative. Did the authors self publish? The shitty writing ruined the experience for me. The only reason that I finished the book ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book!! Can I go to the academy!
Apr 07, 2011 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the other forensic pathology books I have recently finished but probably cause its geared for a different audience. Each chapter is devoted to a portion of the coursework for the NFA's 2.5 month-long course on forensics taught to officials/CSI-types around the country. You don't need any medical or forensic background to read as its probably more for the lay public to get a sense of what actually is entailed to lift fingerprints off of corpses or make sense of an arson crime scene ...more
Victoria Raymond
I loved this book so much. Jarrett and Amy are wonderful teachers and taught me so much.
Apr 19, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A summary, in detail, of the CSI training school curriculum from the National Forensic Academy. It made me homesick and nostalgic for my laboratory days. I'm still thinking about the anecdote regarding a woman with a lot of plastic surgery who was shot in the face. Because of the tautness of her skin, the entrance wound was massive compared to the exit wound--the reverse of what normally happens when one is shot. Her face literally exploded. I love this stuff!
Oct 10, 2009 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The administrators of the NFA have written a book detailing what they do to train law enforcement personnel in the art of crime scene investigation. Thankfully they do not try to blind the layman with science so for somebody who isn't in that profession what they're saying is easy to understand. Very interesting and gruesome enough for any gorehound. Reading these kinds of books make me realise that I wouldn't have the patience to become a CSI.
Apr 06, 2012 Pancha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
The read like a really chatty textbook describing the syllabus at the NFA. Lots of good information, including things that I hadn't run across in my other forensic readings. But it wasn't the most engaging read. If you are doing research on forensic techniques, this is probably a good bet. If you just want an interesting tale of forensics I suggest Teasing Secrets from the Dead.
Dec 10, 2009 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The subject was very intersting but it was very difficult to read this book because of the writing style. I can't stand it when people write "The thing we do is we..." There were 5 unnecessary words in that sentence fragment and not for the purpose of literary prose. I read a lot of dry non-fiction but I felt the grammar was so bad that it became painful at times.
Ratu Avia Rahimah
May 23, 2013 Ratu Avia Rahimah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: police, detective, investigator, crime scene photographer, anthropology student
In this book, Hallcox and Welch describe vividly the reality in forensic world. Not only got me engrossed from its foreword to the index, this book also answered my curiosity and my suspicion about CSI series on tv. Yes, shame on us who think we know everything merely because we've watched most of their episodes. We've been tripped up, they're just some fictions after all.
This is a "day in the life" type of book about the classes at the Nat'l Forensic Academy. I was expecting it to be more focused on actual cases. So while it didn't appeal to me, it was well written and worth reading, if you want to learn more about the classes offered and techniques used in real crime scene investigation.
Melissa Dally
Well, if you were every interested in going to a school to be a really good crime scene investigator, this is your book. It goes into great and interesting detail on the things a CSI goes through to train for all sorts of death scene scenarios. There is some humor interspersed that had me laughing aloud.

Mar 08, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a neat book that takes you behind the scenes of CSI training school in Knoxville. It tells about how CSI people are trained, and also mixes in some good CSI stories along the way. It describes the scientific parts of what CSI people learn in a way that is easy to understand and interesting to read.
Sep 26, 2008 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This caught my interest while lurking in the bookstore over the weekend....

I'm halfway through - so far it's VERY informative & interesting. Entertaining and scientific at the same time (that's usually a hard combo to pull off)

Done - yep good book all the way through.
Feb 15, 2010 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. I found it fascinating. It is not for the weak of stomach though - this is written by forensic investigators and they give you a lot of the details. I found this book to be very well written and the personal stories add a lot.

Apr 10, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read about the NFA training school. This book takes you through a 10 week program teaching everything from DNA to Arson to trace. It was a fast read that was interesting from start to finish. The authors have a funny style that makes the book hard to put down.
Oct 01, 2007 Christie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: policewomen
This book was for people interested in a police crime scene training academy. There was a lot of jargon that I became bored filtering through..the few chapters they spend training at the Body Farm were awesome, but otherwise I flipped through it..
Oct 18, 2011 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the books that got me into death investigation. There is so much crap information out there regarding the topic and this book was straight and to the point. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in the topic.
May 24, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book thouroughly. It was very descriptive about the CSI training that is involved. I learned a lot about this profession by reading this book. I recommend this book for anyone interested in entering the field of CSI.
Jul 26, 2013 Whitney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My cousin is Jarrett, so naturally I give this a 5 star rating! But really, I enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the morbid side of forensic science. Right up my alley, and anyone else who enjoys creepy, gory goodness.
Feb 02, 2014 Toshia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
when I was in high school I was very interested in becoming a handwriting analyst for law enforcement. then, when CSI came on TV I was memorized! this book reads almost like a textbook, and was very informative.
Mar 04, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the sense of humor of the authors. I think they would fit in well with my circle of friends. I already wanted to visit the Body Farm at UT-Knoxville but now I really want to.
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