Including this Halloween-themed entry:
Affectionately referred to as the Body Farm, the facility was founded in 1981 by Dr. Bill Bass, a professor of anthropology at the university. Before the Body Farm was established, information on human decay was astonishingly inadequate, leaving criminal investigators poorly equipped for determining abandoned bodies’ time of death. On one occasion, Dr. Bass was asked to estimate the post-mortem interval of some human remains, and conventional methods indicated approximately one year given the moist flesh still clinging to the man’s bones. When other evidence later revealed that the body had been occupying its coffin since the Civil War, a flummoxed Dr. Bass took it upon himself to finally fill the forensic gap.
In what must have been an animated conversation, the professor convinced the university administration to set aside over an acre of woodland for his pioneering decay research. Two wrecking-yard-style barriers were erected along the plot’s perimeter: an inner wooden “privacy fence,” and an outer layer of chain-link. For good measure, the chain-link was garnished with a coil of prison-grade razor wire. To discourage those whose curiosity is aroused by pungent breezes and formidable fences, a series of signs were installed to warn away would-be interlopers, broadcasting their unsettling all-caps pronouncements across the countryside: RESEARCH FACILITY. BIOHAZARD. NO TRESPASSING.
In the intervening years, many anthropology students at the University of Tennessee have been engrossed by the decay research at the Body Farm. A continuum of corpses occupy the facility thanks to unclaimed remains from the medical center, and persons who have donated their bodies to science. Owing to these selfless subjects, the stagnating field of forensic anthropology was rapidly revitalized.