Born in MI; married; children: daughters. Education: University of Tennessee, B.A., M.A.
Office—Law Enforcement Innovation Center, University of Tennessee, 105 Student Services Bldg., Knoxville, TN 37996. E-mail—[email protected] edu.
National Forensic Science Institute, forensic training specialist; National Forensic Academy, director.
(With Amy Welch) Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School, foreword by Bill Bass, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Jarrett Hallcox is a forensics expert and, with Amy Welch, the author of Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School. "The latest authors to capitalize on the CSI craze are well situated to add something new to the literature," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer, since Hallcox is director of the National Forensic Academy and Welch is an administrator there. From an untried concept that initially attracted little interest from investigators and police, the National Forensic Academy has grown into a prominent, prestigious training academy that admits only law enforcement professionals and maintains a three-year waiting list for class openings. In their book, Hallcox and Welch provide details on the tenweek training course, pointing out the "gritty reality of forensic work" that is most often nothing like the glamorous profession portrayed on television. Instead, as Kristine Huntley commented in Booklist, real-world forensic work "often involves crawling through the mud or examining putrid corpses."
Though some interest in forensics may have been spurred by popular television programs, the rigorous science and careful investigative techniques behind forensics have proved a boon to law enforcement officers working on difficult crimes or long-cold cases. Hallcox and Welch cover details that are often lacking in television portrayals, but which can make a tremendous difference in real investigations. Film speed and lighting are crucial elements of crime-scene photography, for example. The authors also explain how evidence is gathered and processed. Among the more notorious elements of training at the National Forensic Academy is work at the Body Farm, a research site in which donated bodies are exposed to a variety of conditions that speed up or slow down decomposition, and where students find themselves facing the unpleasant reality of how bodies decay while learning what sorts of important clues can be harvested from a putrid corpse. Huntley concluded that the book and its subject are "engrossing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2006, Kristine Huntley, review of Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School, p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, November 14, 2005, review of Bodies We've Buried, p. 59.
Bodies We've Buried Web site,http://www.bodiesweveburied.com (July 14, 2006).