A recent WMOT news report points out that the Body Farm was the first such research facility and now one of only three in the world. The radio newscast includes quotes from graduate students collecting finger and wrist bones. As you would expect, the odor is a main topic of the story.

Earlier today, someone asked me about the Body Farm. He wondered why he never sees vultures flying above it as he drives past on Alcoa Highway. I made a mental note to ask Dr. Bill Bass about it. My own theory is that the vultures may not be interested in bodies that decay under black tarps. Many of the bodies are placed under tarps because  maggots prefer the darkness and do a better job of cleaning those bones.

All three real body farms are in the United States. A fictional body farm in England is the setting for an upcoming BBC One series. “The Body Farm” is a spin-off of “Waking the Dead.” Writer Declan Croghan acknowledges that the show was inspired by the real Body Farm in Knoxville. A site called Cult Box already has a synopsis of episode 1. I guess that will have to do until the show turns up on BBC America.

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