the body farm

Admit it: Sherlock is the weird boyfriend who gets his girlfriend special access to the Body Farm in Tennessee (aka the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Facility) as a one-year anniversary gift.

And Molly is most definitely the weird girlfriend who acts likes all her Christmases are happening at once because HOLY SHIT, all that knowledge about forensic pathology at her fingertips.

Belated Body Farm reactions.

(Beware. Spoilers)

Oggy. Ogggy. WHAT THE FREAKING HELL. Not Hale. PLEASE not Hale. Anyone but Hale. He’s…. just not slash material, Oggy, canon or not. DI Hale is a no-no!

Saddly, there aren’t really any other guys for you to have. :( Why, BBC, did you not cast Lestrade’s actor as Hale instead????

the paths we take sometimes lead us away from people we know and love, but in the end what matters, is that we affect the lives of others somehow, whoever we are, whatever our story, obsession always destroys what it inteded to nurture, but if your able to let yourself love honestly, without fear, then maybe that huge heart you have, will somehow set you free♥
—  the body farm, series 1 episode 4

krshush said:

Wwwwait there’s a body farm in Knoxville w h a t


it’s technically the William Bass Anthropological Research Center, a little ways away on the University of Tennessee campus, but everyone calls it The body farm because it really is the very first and infamous. one of my favorite books of all time is Death’s Acre, by Dr. William Bass (same dude who founded the center!!)

he talks about the cases that lead to the formation of the farm (one of them took place in my city!!) without being too gory or dry in his descriptions. it’s actually funny- a case where he misjudges the time of death by some 70+ years, and another where he has to buy his wife a new stovetop when he accidentally lets a boiling skull bubble over. all in all it’s just really fascinating and eye-opening and wow A++ would recommend u w u<33

Beyond The Body Farm by Dr Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson

Synopsis: A pioneer in forensic anthropology, Dr Bill Bass created the world’s first laboratory dedicated to the study of human decomposition; three acres of land where human bodies are exposed to the elements. His research at the ‘Body Farm’ has revolutionised forensic science, helping to crack cold cases and pinpoint time of death.

During a career that spans half a century, Bass and his work have ranged far beyond the gates of the Body Farm. Such as reassembling - from battered torsos and a stack of severed limbs - eleven people hurled skyward by an explosion at an illegal fireworks factory, and extracting DNA from a long-buried corpse, only to find that the female murder victim may have been mistakenly identified twenty-five years before. 

In Beyond The Body Farm, Dr Bill Bass explored the rise of modern forensic science, using fascinating cases from his career to take readers into the real world of C.S.I.

Opinion: This is a really interesting book which covers many different aspects of modern forensic science - such as anthropology, entomology, DNA technology and forensic art - in a series of anecdotal examples from Bass’ career. The variety in the book is good; the cases range from murder to plane crashes to explosions to more archaeological cases involving ancient remains. There is also a glossary of anthropology and forensic terms, including anthropological diagrams, for those who may be less familiar with the terminology. The cases are accompanied by photographs and other case materials which really help to enhance the anecdotes. I really enjoyed the personal style of the writing and the high level of detail and forensic accuracy throughout.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis taken from book cover. Image from

My daughter decided to put all of her stuffed animals down for a nap. Except she covered them ALL up. I can’t tell if she’s making a body farm or what and now that’s what she calls it, “Mama, can I make a body farm?" 

Oh dear. I think I just made a Hannibal Lecter.


Body Farm Research Facilities

The first body farm (officially known as the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Facility) was opened by Dr. William Bass in 1971. Bass recognized the need for research into human decomposition after police repeatedly asked for his help analyzing bodies in criminal cases. What started as a small area with one body has developed into a 3-acre complex that contains remains of around 40 individuals at any one time. The facility became famous (and gained its moniker) after it inspired Patricia Cornwell’s 1995 novel, “The Body Farm.”

Where do these bodies come from? When Dr. Bass first started the body farm, he used unclaimed bodies from medical examiners’ offices. Later, people started donating their bodies to the facility to help with forensic studies.

There’s no common set of standards or guidelines that body farms adhere to, other than safety, security and privacy. Even the dimensions of the facilities vary. Western Carolina University’s body farm is about 59-feet (18 m) squared and is built to hold about six to 10 bodies at a time, while the body farm at the University of Tennessee holds around 40 bodies and covers nearly 3 acres. And even body farms are bigger in Texas: The facility at University of Texas-San Marcos covers about 5 acres.

Each facility also has a different focus. The Tennessee body farm pursues a broad range of study into decomposition under all conditions — buried, unburied, underwater and even in the trunks of cars. The body farm at Western Carolina places emphasis on decomposition in the mountainous region of the Carolinas. Texas’ body farm also provides region-specific data. Forensic anthropologists from states like New Mexico are waiting on data from Texas so they can comprehensively study decomposition in desert climates.

Generally, when a facility accepts a body, it’s placed in a refrigerator (not unlike one found in a morgue). The body is then assigned an identifying number and placed in a specific location on the grounds of the body farm. The location of each body is carefully mapped. Students learn how to maintain the chain of evidencewhen working with the bodies. In a criminal case, it’s imperative that anyone coming into contact with human remains logs that he or she handled it. This way, no legal questions can be raised about the integrity of the evidence or possible gaps in its custody.

The bodies are allowed to decompose for various amounts of time. Then students practice locating, collecting and removing the remains from the area. The remains are taken to a laboratory and further analyzed. When analysis is finished, the skeleton may be returned to the family of the deceased for burial, if requested. Otherwise, it will likely remain in the department’s collection of skeletons. U of T-Knoxville boasts a collection of skeletal remains from more than 700 people.

Body farms may or may not cover the bodies with wire cages. Doing so prevents coyotes in Texas from making off with body parts, but security fencing at the much smaller Western Carolina facility is sufficient.


I want to say that The Body Farm is a really scientifically interesting and beneficial project, but in actuality, it just creeps the fuck out of me.