Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
No Bone Unturned:
Inside the World of a Top Forensic Scientist and His Work on
America's Most Notorious Crimes and Disasters
by Jeff Benedict, Harper Collins, 2004
Reviewed by Dick McGowan
No Bone Unturned chronicles the exploits of,
perhaps, America's foremost forensic scientist, Doug Owsley.
For CSI fans, there's no better book than this one.
Owsley has made a career out of understanding what death might
tell us. A curator for the Smithsonian, Doug Owsley has been
involved in one fascinating case after the other. Who was it
buried in that old church in Maryland? Was it a member of the
nobility? A commoner? And if it were a member of
the nobility, what was the person's name and identity? Those
are the sorts of questions Owsley's explorations answer.
With attention and care, he reconstructs skeletons, seeking
knowledge of identity and cause of death. The State
Department has used his skill and expertise investigating the mass
graves in Croatia, working on the deaths from the terrorist attacks
on the Pentagon, and , perhaps his most famous case of all,
examining the Kennewick Man.
The Kennewick Man, a 9,600 year old skeleton found along the
shores of the Columbia River, presented more than scientific
problems to Owsley. The discovery of those bones became a
cause célèbre for Native American tribes in the Northwest and a
political 'hot potato' for the government. No Bone
Unturned offers a solid account of how government and
scientific inquiry work, sometimes harmoniously and sometimes not
No Bone Unturned, thus, presents one man's stand
for knowledge and against governmental bureaucracy and political
correctness. The book is worth reading if only for the
courage of Doug Owsley.
- Dick McGowan is an instructor in the College of
Business at Butler University.