Beyond Essay

1200 WordsApr 29, 20145 Pages
Beyond the Body Farm is a novel comprised of multiple short stories about some of Dr. Bill Bass’ countless experiences over decades as what some call a “bone detective”. Dr. Bass’ detailed accounts of multiple of his favorite and most challenging cases all show the diversity of methods used and the dedication required to be successful in the field of forensic anthropology. More importantly though, these retellings are meant to educate readers on forensic anthropology beyond the boundaries of CSI type television shows, and illustrate the stark contrast between TV and reality. “Shedding Light on a Victim's Bones” was a case which used UV light extensively to determine the identity of the bones. The initial use of the UV light was to conclude what the age of this person had been at death. For example, a teenager's bones will glow a pale green whereas a toddler's will be a yellowish purple. In this case, the bones found were thought to be those of a teenage girl named Lizabeth Wilson, who had gone missing around 6 months before Bass received her remains. Dr. Bass went through the usual routine of finding age and sex. He was immediately able to determine that the bones were that of a teenager, but had a more difficult time determining sex because at that young an age there is still little difference between male and female skeletons of children. However, Dr. Bass was able to find that the sciatic notch of the ilium was twice the width of what a male's would be, that the skull had sharp edged eye orbits and a smooth forehead, all indicating that the bones were female. Finally, it was time to determine that all the bones came from the same person using UV light again. When the UV light was shone, they all glowed the same deep purple, indicating that they all came from the same person, in this case Lizabeth Wilson. Unlike most other cases, this one was resolved rather

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