Dr. Bill Bass, one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists, gained international attention when he built a forensic lab like no other: The Body Farm. Now, this master scientist unlocks the gates of his lab to reveal his most intriguing cases-and to revisit the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact.
This is a book for forensics purists: voyeuristic oddballs like myself who are only mildly intrigued by the details of the book's true-crime narratives, who skip ahead to the part where the forensics guys arrive with their Ziploc bags and delectably horrid puns. ("Bill, give me a hand," we hear a fingerprint expert at a crime scene say when he wants a corpse's severed hand.) The cases in Death's Acre seem to have been chosen not for the dramatic arcs of crime unfolding and justice served -- indeed, many chapters end in anticlimax -- but because they work well to illustrate the essentials of decomp science: timelines of decay, identifying burned or skeletal remains, forensic entomology. Mary Roach