Farm Bureau

Nathan and Kathleen Robinson of Scrumps Cupcakes were surprised to learn that there is a photo of their store on In May, I asked the Robinsons to donate some Death by Chocolate cupcakes to the FBI Knoxville Citizens Academy Alumni Association. We served them after a lecture by Dr. Bill Bass.

I keep up with Body Farm news via daily Google Alerts. In the past few weeks, the alerts have included some unusual links that are worth mentioning.

Some old pictures of Dr. Bass turn up on a site called ScienceNews for Kids. The article is titled “Cool jobs: Crime scene investigators.” The author mentions that scientists at the Body Farm have answered questions such as: “When do the teeth begin to fall out of the skull? At what point do the arms detach? What causes the greasy black stain beneath decomposing bodies (and how long does that last)?” All I can think of is the phrase “a bad banana with a greasy black peel” from “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

A British newspaper ran a photo feature called “Inside the ‘body farm’ where corpses are left outside to decompose for forensic researchers to study.” As I read it, I realized that the paper had copied the material from Marc Stewart’s recent story for KMGH-TV in Denver. Stewart, who used to work at WBIR in Knoxville, reported on the original Body Farm and plans for a new one at Colorado Mesa University.

A forest fire came close to a relatively new body farm at Sam Houston State University in Texas. An article about it in The Houstonian includes the sentence, “The site is not open to the public for viewing.” The original Body Farm in Knoxville is not open to the public either, which is why I was puzzled to see it on the official Tennessee tourism website.

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