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Death's Acre

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  8,384 Ratings  ·  493 Reviews
Descibes the timing of death in post mortems of murder victims by examing the maggots which are found on them
Published January 22nd 2004 by Sphere (first published October 27th 2003)
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Visiting the Body Farm in Tennessee would be my idea of a good day out. A scientific research facility which treats death as an informative transition period rather than something static and final, the Body Farm has become world famous.

As someone who has been routinely staring death in the face (or more accurately into the faces of hundreds of deceased, recent or otherwise), my desk is usually awash with texts and field manuals produced by William Bass and his colleagues. People often mistakenly
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
As someone who has had a lifelong fascination with death, decomposition, murder, funerary and burial practices, and all manner of morbid stuff, I was eager to read Death's Acre. I had read a little about the Body Farm previously, so I couldn't wait to get the whole story from the man who started it all, Bill Bass.

I expected the book to focus very narrowly on the Body Farm itself, but that isn't the case. The reader does get information about Bass's background and how he got into anthropology --
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Dr Bass opisuje też najciekawsze zagadnienia dotyczące swojej nietypowej pracy oraz snuje historie prawdziwych zbrodni i śledztw, w jakich przyszło mu wziąć udział. Każda kolejna sprawa, każda kolejna ofiara to nowy głos, to opowieść, która mrozi krew w żyłach, nawet jeśli dr Bass robi to z dystansem oraz nieco makabrycznym humorem tak charakterystycznym dla ludzi, którzy na co dzień obracają się wokół zmarłych i niestraszny im taniec ze śmiercią. Jednocześnie zachowuje dużą wrażliwość względem ...more
Rachel (BAVR)
I picked up this book because the Body Farm fascinates me. Seriously, I'm so taken with that place that I would consider willing my future cadaver there someday if my family approves. In Death's Acre, Dr. William M. Bass, his tale written by the vastly capable Jon Jefferson, takes us on the journey of his exciting career as a forensic anthropologist, professor, and founder of the Body Farm.

There are some very graphic descriptions of human decomposition in this book, which doesn't bother me, but
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writing could be tighter, but his wandering through his life is interesting. How he, an anthropologist developed into a pioneer in the field of forensics is interesting & funny, in rather horrible ways. (A corpse in the closet over the weekend - the poor janitor!) The development & reasoning behind the body farm is also interesting. See Mary Roache's book on corpses, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. She has a chapter on the body farm & does a wonderful job, too.
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in true-crime, forensic and anthropological science,
This book is based on the University of Tennessee's Anthropological Research Facility, aka "The Body Farm". The 1st facility of it's kind, The Body Farm researches the decomposition process of the human body in varied controlled settings. Results in these studies have helped federal and local law enforcement solve murders and missing persons cases.

The author, who joined UofT's anthropology department in 1971 and founded the original Body Farm in 1981, injects a nice balance of humor to off-set t
I really enjoyed learning about the Body Farm and how it came to be. I have read Patricia Cornwell's book The Body Farm and so learning the lengths she went to for her research for a death scene in the book was great and encouraging to hear that she really cared if her books are realistic. Also learning where the techniques that are taken for granted today came from, who thought them up, and the experiments done to create these techniques. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Historia powstania tzw. "trupiej farmy" w USA, miejsca gdzie zmarli opowiadają swoje historie. A żyjący mogą dzięki zmarłym studiować najbardziej nieoczekiwane sposoby określania czasu i okoliczności śmierci.
Lektura bardzo ciekawa ale niełatwa - szczegółowe opisy kłębiących się w oczodołach czerwi generują czasem mdłości :/ więc nie jest to książka, którą da się połknąć w jeden wieczór.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Examining one of the Bass non-fiction books, the reader will discover that the world of forensic anthropology and crime scene analysis is nothing like that depicted on television, or in most crime novels. Bass seeks not only to delve into the real-world exploration of what he has been doing for the past 25 (at the time) years or so, but also to shed some light on techniques, variations, and the creation of the Body Farm, for which he has become known since its creation in 1980. Adding some perso ...more
Lori Summers
I have a keen interest in forensic science and true crime. I studied forensic anthropology for a little while in grad school (and I feel compelled to add that I did this before it was The In Thing). My interest in the subject was sparked by a book by Dr. William Maples, one of the founders of the field, called Dead Men Do Tell Tales. Dr. Bass is another of the giants in the field, although Maples’ book is more artful and creative than this one, which is somewhat formless and meandering.

I felt li
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Czy zastanawialiście się kiedyś, jak blisko do rozkładających się zwłok trzeba podejść, aby je poczuć? Albo w jakiej temperaturze spala się doszczętnie ludzkie DNA? A może namyślaliście się nad tym, gdzie w ludkzich zwłokach najbardziej lubią składać jajeczka różne owady? Jeżeli tak, to ta książka jest dla Was!

O "Trupiej farmie" po raz pierwszy usłyszałam w jednym z filmików na kanale Niediegetyczne. Z racji tego, że każdorazowo jak tylko natknę się na coś interesującego staram się pogłębiać swo
Keilani Ludlow
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a book! I am so very glad that my new-ish Goodreads friend, Matt, recommended this book. Exactly what I like.

I love watching the crime/forensic shows. CSI, Criminal Minds, Bones, whatever. However, I get really grossed-out at the graphic visuals and some of the details into the creepy minds leaves me feeling ill. This book has all the good parts without the nasty.

The author started the first body farm in America and is behind (either on his own or thru graduate students he taught) a si
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd heard about this fellow's work from several directions before I ever picked up the book (one of my oldest friends has agreed to donate his body to this research facility), and I was frankly enamored with the idea (of the research facility, not the donation).

I was actually mildly disappointed with the scale of his facility -- I had imagined it as a huge spread, out in the wilds of southern Appalachia, with various experiments scattered in the hollows and tucked away at the end of meandering p
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this book 4 out of 5 stars, but I had one minor, nit-picky complaint. The author gives us only glimpses into his personal life, his beliefs and his childhood. We know by the end of the book that his first two wives died, leaving him lonely and depressed. Then, next thing you know, he's married to someone he knew years ago. I would have liked some tales of their courtship or maybe some more information about her. He mentions at the end that he no longer believes in an afterlife ...more
Mar 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grbpp
(3.5) Interesting, though reminds me of concerns about accuracy

These forensic anthropologists (much like many coroners) become experts and then assume they can determine facts with near certainty when they can't possibly consistently. I do appreciate Bass making as much of a science out of this field as possible, so he may be among the best, but there's danger in accepting the data they return.

I appreciate Bass' frankness about his mistakes. He really owns up to them, at times pokes a bit of fun
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was awesome.

I have been a long time "fan" of the body farm & my first time in college my major was forensics. So I finally got around to reading it once I saw it was on my library's ebook system. SO GOOD.

Dr Bass' way of storytelling is so engaging and well written that I would almost recommend it to anyone if they could stomach some of the descriptions. I found it to be an easy read, although I couldn't eat while reading it, that was my limit. Each chapter could have easily been
patrycja polczyk
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very much looking forward to reading this book, as I’m fascinated with bodies and science of how they decay. I’m also an anthropologist - cultural one, but still fascinated with anything anthropological. This book is excellent and I was in love with it the moment I’ve started reading it. History of dr Bass and his creation of Body Farm is like a really great adventure for me. I give it 4 stars only because I wasn’t exactly happy with the fact, that he was repeating himself quite often, alm ...more
Sara Dee
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
finally finished. I had about 20 pages left and just kept putting it off...but! I got Beyond the Bodyfarm so I felt compelled to finish this one!

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned a lot, especially from the appendices. I loved Dr Bass' punny humor. The cases were all interesting and mostly all of them we're new to me. I'm excited to see what new ones he brings in the next book.

The thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was that there was a lot of repetition. Almost like each case was written
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a truly amazing book, full of anecdotes about forensic anthropology by a man who practically invented the science. It was striking to read about advances in a modern field where all the work is original and new. The situations and crimes described are so weird and chilling that this book ought to be horrifying, but the author writes with calm sensitivity, citing the cases as clinical examples and emphasizing the truly important work done to solve these mysteries.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Part true-crime anecdotes, part memoir, Death's Acre is a macabre delight if (like me) you are the sort of person who gets a twisted sort of pleasure reading about crazy murders and how forensics teams solve them.
The book wasn't quite what I was expecting, because it's billed as an examination of the Body Farm, a research facility in Tennessee where experiments are preformed concerning how human bodies decay. And while the book does talk about origins of the Body Farm and discusses s
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. A great introduction to the real world of forensic science. Death's Acre details the life and career of Dr. Bill Bass, founder of the famous Body Farm, a facility where the decomposition of dead bodies to provide data that will assist police officers and investigators in solving murders.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dawno nie czytałam tak wciągającej książki popularno-naukowej.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, 2017
Większość rzeczy już wiedziałam, ponieważ kiedyś interesowałam się antropologią sądową. Dobrze napisana ale ilość powtórzeń denerwuje.
I'm giving it a star as it made me sleep at 4am today when I was having a bout of insomnia.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“Death’s Acre” is not what it claims to be: “Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales.”
It’s Bill Bass’s bloated memoir, brimming with useless information, bogging down readers and serving no purpose.
It’s also Bill Bass’s chance to stand up and accuse men and women, not convicted in a court of law, of being murderers. More on that later.
Bass writes about all sorts of things, including a few of his cases and cases of his colleagues. He writes a little about the
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know of only two types of scientific research that require utterly destroying the very thing you're studying: excavating an archaeological site and investigating a death scene (74).

Bass started the first Body Farm, a research facility designed to study decomposition of human bodies and, in turn, aid investigations. For better or for worse, Death's Acre is not really about the Body Farm—rather, it's about Bass's career trajectory more generally. Over the years, he says, counting my excavations
Dec 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This is a book that was ghosted, or the guy who wrote it was helped to write it by some other guy. The danger with this is that you don't know if the guy who is helping you to write your book can write. This book could have done with someone with a cringe detector reading over it first and saying to both of them - "look, no, just no".

Otherwise it is a fascinating book. I loved the story of the Civil War grave and the recent body found in it. I loved most of the stories in the book and given the
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone in the medical field or interested in crime stories
I was sad when I read the last sentence of this book; I did not want it to end. When I started reading this book I wanted to read about dead bodies and the story behind the bodies, the cause of death and if it was a murder victim then the story of how the person was killed. The first chapter did start out talking about a body but it also started talking about the life of Bill Bass, the founder of the Body Farm, which I wasn’t interested in but I had to remind myself that this book is a memoir of ...more
Lil' Grogan
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, crime, humour, 4
A fascinating read with far more humour and heart than I expected. My own interest in forensics is purely born from watching CSI. Found it intriguing to read about how and where some of the knowledge in the field was developed.

Majority of the book is about Bass' career as a physical anthropologist, with a concentration on his work in crime cases and small bits about his personal life. Bass is also generous in devoting time to the achievements of his students and colleagues in the field. Liked t
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Co Authors with
Jon Jefferson

William M. Bass, often credited as Bill Bass, is a U.S. forensic anthropologist, renowned for his research on human osteology and human decomposition. He has also assisted federal, local, and non-US authorities in the identification of human remains. He taught at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and though currently retir
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“I'm sure the makers of Downy would be pleased to know that their product makes even mummified human skin soft and fragrant. ” 20 likes
“We’re organisms; we’re conceived, we’re born, we live, we die, and we decay. But as we decay we feed the world of the living: plants and bugs and bacteria.” 11 likes
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