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William M. Bass

William Marvin Bass III (born August 30, 1928) is an American forensic anthropologist, best known for his research on human osteology and human decomposition. He has also assisted federal, local, and non-U.S. authorities in the identification of human remains. He taught at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and though currently retired from teaching, still plays an active research role at the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, which he founded. The Facility is more popularly known as "The Body Farm", a name used by crime author Patricia Cornwell in a novel of the same name, which drew inspiration from Bass and his work. Bass has also described the body farm as "Death's Acre" – the title of the book on his life and career, co-written with journalist Jon Jefferson. Jefferson and Bass, under the pen name "Jefferson Bass", have also written several fictional works: Carved In Bone, Flesh and Bone, The Devil's Bones, Bones of Betrayal, The Bone Thief, The Bone Yard, The Inquisitor's Key, Cut To the Bone, and The Breaking Point. Bass is the third generation in his family to have an educational building named after him. The Dr. William M. Bass III Forensic Anthropology Building dedication ceremony was September 27, 2011, near the Body Farm.

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Dr. Bill Bass & Jon Jefferson's non fiction books Beyond the Body Farm and Death's Acre are easy to read and incredibly intense. They write in such a way that it makes you feel like you are there with them. I have a strong interest in forensic science and the books inspired me to decide on forensic anthropology. Dr. Bass is revolutionary in his field. If it weren't for his "body farm", scientists, police, and other crime related workers would not have the knowledge base about death and decomposition that they do today. I would love to meet Dr. Bass.

Contributed by Alicia Weber

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