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Download Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensics Lab—The Body Farm—Where the Dead Do Tell Tales Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensics Lab—The Body Farm—Where the Dead Do Tell Tales Audiobook, by Bill Bass Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3,133 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Bass, Jon Jefferson Narrator: George Grizzard Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2003 ISBN: 9780743546157
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Nowhere is there another lab like Dr. Bill Bass’s: on a hillside in Tennessee, human bodies decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. At the Body Farm, nature takes its course, with corpses buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, concealed beneath slabs of concrete, locked in trunks of cars. As stand-ins for murder victims, they serve the needs of science—and the cause of justice.

For thirty years, Dr. Bass’s research has revolutionized the field of forensic science, particularly by pinpointing “time since death” in murder cases. In this riveting audiobook, he investigates real cases and leads listeners on an unprecedented journey behind the locked gates of the Body Farm. A master scientist and an engaging storyteller, Bass shares his most intriguing work: his revisit of the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact; the mystery of a headless corpse whose identity astonished the police; the telltale bugs that finally sent a murderous grandfather to death row; and many more.

Forensic science and murder investigations are among the most fascinating topics of our time. Dominating television and print media the subjects could not be hotter. As one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists, Dr. Bill Bass is the premier guide to this unusual realm.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bass uses his folksy humor and extensive knowledge to share the gory details of his day job. And, boy, does he give up the goods.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Bass’ moving account is a surprisingly accessible read.” 

    Times (London)

  • “It embraces some of the great issues: the perpetual conflict of good versus evil, and the human virtues of enthusiasm, commitment and intellectual inquiry. It just happens, also, to be extremely well written.” 

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “Bass…proves to be a witty storyteller with a welcome sense of humor. He also does a nice job balancing accounts of death and decomposition with decidedly not-so-morbid tidbits from his personal life…Bass may deal with the dead, but has a lust for life that comes across in his writing. Those who do pick it up might just be pleasantly surprised by how Bass brings death to life.” 

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victoria | 2/14/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed his conversational style. I felt like I was in a room with a friend being regaled by amazing scientific stories and discovers. Unfortunately many folks died horrible deaths, but with the assistance of donated cadavers and tenacious anthropologists, investigators, students, and medical examiners many cases of murder have been solved. Amazing from start to finish. The human body and the world we interact with is fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 2/9/2014

    " Bass is not the best writer, but his stories sure are fun. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Delphine | 2/6/2014

    " Interesting testimony but not really well written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 2/4/2014

    " A good overview of Scientific details behind Criminal (particularly corpse-related) forensics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/28/2014

    " Fascinating look at forensic anthropology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aleisha Z Coleman | 1/24/2014

    " love,love, love this book of forensic science! when i die, i want to donate my body to this acre of rotting bodies so that i can contribute myself to science! i tell my jr. high science students this, just to freak 'em out a little, mwhahahaha! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 1/22/2014

    " Interesting and highly enjoyable. It was enlightening to read how Dr. Bass's early career and case work lead to the creation of the Body Farm and the various types of research and forensic techniques that developed from that. Definitely not something to read over lunch if you have a weak stomach. While the descriptions aren't unnecessarily gory and graphic, if you have a decent imagination the descriptions are vivid enough to create some unsettling imagery. The anecdotes he shares regarding the various cases he worked on show a dry humor but a great respect for the subject matter. A good read for anyone remotely interested in forensic anthropology and the famed Body Farm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larkyn | 1/16/2014

    " I loved this book. It's definitely got me interested in forensic anthropology. I only wish my life was this interesting! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Stimson | 12/27/2013

    " I purchased this book after picking it up. It gives a very detailed description of the workings of The Body Farm. I also enjoyed the authors stories about his Archaeological trips, especially in the domestic areas of America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eugene Zachary | 9/18/2013

    " One of the best books I ever read. Most interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 stephanie | 9/12/2013

    " interesting, but dude was pretty self-congratulatory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 9/3/2013

    " Dr. Bass is my rock star. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 9/2/2013

    " I may have found my final resting place! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Mckay | 8/8/2013

    " One part that particularly blew my mind was one forensic anthropologist studied hundreds of types of saws & what they did to human bones. He could figure out what type of saw was used, how many false starts & hesitations the murderer made....SCIENCE! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqueline | 8/2/2013

    " This is not a book for the faint of heart, but it is an interesting look at death, decay and what our bodies can say after a crime. I enjoyed Dr. Bass' down to earth style so much I might give his mystery series a try after this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brackman1066 | 6/12/2013

    " Bass is a local (he lives in Knoxville) and I found his explanation of forensic anthropology really interesting. It helped a lot that I TA'ed Human Bio in college, though--this is a little technical, but nothing in it is too difficult. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth LeForge Yoder | 5/2/2013

    " If I get tired of listening to patients talk all day, maybe I'll go back and become a pathologist. :) Loved the book - it's cool that this facility was the inspiration for Patricia Cornwell's The Body Farm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Kerwin | 4/15/2013

    " Very good book, a quick read full of fascinating information on death, bones, decomposition, arson, murder and the life-cycle of blow flies. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 3/31/2013

    " This book is fabulous. I really enjoyed reading about the Body Farm, something I've always been intrigued by. It was neat learning about some different cases Dr. Bass was involved in. Being the cop's kid I am, I love a good book on crime! And this one was a delight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan | 7/31/2012

    " It's interesting. I'm fascinated by the Body Farm so to know its roots is fantastic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 6/11/2012

    " Interesting stories, and he lead a fascinating life... he just isn't particularly good at writing about it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz DeCoster | 5/15/2012

    " The stories in the book were extremely interesting, but I felt the author/narrator's voice often intruded too much into the stories, which I found distracting and detrimental overall. Maybe I was looking for something more science-y? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christinafaubert Grove | 4/10/2012

    " Okay, okay...I know my interest in the extremely bizarre world of the dead is anything but pleasant but I honestly loved the realistic adventure this book brought me on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chrissy | 3/4/2012

    " This is my all time favorite book. Very interesting. Have read it multiple times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Boy | 1/20/2012

    " I like this book a lot, and I work at the medical investigators office! Despite looking at dead bodies all day at work I still found the whole book interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Schnuckiputzi | 9/27/2011

    " If you're not squeamish, you'll learn a lot about human anatomy in this books. I found myself using a pencil to see if my teeth protruded farther than my chin (put it in that little groove under your nose) -- it's one of the ways they identify your race if your nothing but bone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 4/25/2011

    " If I were younger I'd go into the field of forensic science. Too late now.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 4/1/2011

    " Certainly informative. I like the goulish a bit, especially if it's true. Kind of getting a peak at the wet, complicated underbelly of society. Like picking up a cockroach and looking at it's underside. Creepy, but totally informative and, yes, necessary for the progress of science. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 3/25/2011

    " This book was not what I thought it would be. I thought it would be more about the actual Lab and Body Farm. Instead it was more of a memoir about Bill Bass, the creator of the Body Farm. It was a good read, but not as detailed forensically as I thought it would be and would have liked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 2/28/2011

    " Takes a while to get going but is a fascinating glimpse into how forensic investigators do their work. Be prepared for plenty of descriptions of bloated, rotting corpses and people murdering their families. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 1/26/2011

    " Wow, is this fascinating. The author has an endearing style, and provides just enough personal information to draw in a reader. He discusses the scientific premise straight from the hip, without making it macabre; at least in my opinion. Great stuff for novel research! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janelle | 1/15/2011

    " This is a really good true crime book. It has a lot of interesting cases but the main focus is forensic anthropology. Some of the descriptions are pretty gruesome so if you don’t like that kind of thing then this is not a good book for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/12/2011

    " One part that particularly blew my mind was one forensic anthropologist studied hundreds of types of saws & what they did to human bones. He could figure out what type of saw was used, how many false starts & hesitations the murderer made....SCIENCE! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 1/2/2011

    " A. surprisingly so, because i expected this to be corny and poorly written, like most true crime novels are. instead it was insightful to both the dead and the author's life, and brought a timbre of respect to something that seems otherwise awful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liza | 11/30/2010

    " a look at UT's forensics department, where they study the effects of the elements on corpses to better diagnose cause of death and other details that help solve crimes. truly fascinating, if you're kinda twisted like me :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/24/2010

    " If I get tired of listening to patients talk all day, maybe I'll go back and become a pathologist. :) Loved the book - it's cool that this facility was the inspiration for Patricia Cornwell's The Body Farm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 7/27/2010

    " This guy's a little too full of himself. "

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About the Author

Dr. Bill Bass is a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, the founder of the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm," and the author of more than two hundred scientific publications.

About the Narrator

George Grizzard (1928–2007) was an American actor who appeared in more than forty films, dozens of television programs, and a number of Broadway plays. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2002.