Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Body Farm Expert Gives Gruesome Lecture to Vol State Students

“One of my biggest challenges is the decomposing eyeballs,” stated doctoral candidate Tiffany B. Saul. Saul, a Forensics Anthropologist from U.T., spoke at Vol State on Wednesday, Sept 28, in front of students of Radiology and Criminal Justice.

The University of Tennessee is home to the original “body farm”: an area dedicated to the decomposition of the dead, so that scientists can study the various stages and effects. This gruesome undertaking has been ongoing for over thirty years and helps to advance Forensic Science. They also host Human Remains Recovery training for the FBI.

“They keep [the bodies] right under the football field,” said Miss Sue in The Blind Side. In reality, said Saul, they keep skeletal remains on the second floor of the stadium. 

Saul discussed some of the techniques used at U.T., such as cooking hands in crockpots to soak away the ligaments and tissue. She also debunked some of the “science” of crime-drama CSI. It seems that you can’t really use someone else’s skin as gloves to use their fingerprints.

If that was your big plan for Saturday night, you should stay in with a movie and some finger foods.

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

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