Speaking in bones with Kathy Reichs

Forensic science author delivers master class to Concordia leadership donors
March 16, 2016
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By James Gibbons

There are 206 bones in the human body — a fact Kathy Reichs, LLD 11, knows better than most.

A bestselling author and forensic anthropologist, Reichs’s business is identifying human remains. She delivered Concordia’s first-ever “master class” presentation to more than a dozen leadership donors and Heritage Society members on March 15.

The event followed a sold out Thinking Out Loud talk at the D.B. Clarke Theatre on March 14.

Kathy Reichs and Caroline Van Vlaardingen Reichs’s history with Concordia was among the topics discussed with emcee Caroline Van Vlaardingen, BA 84, a reporter with CTV News Montreal.

Here are three lesser-known facts about forensic science and showbiz:

  1. Beavers are scarce in Hollywood. For an episode of the TV show Bones, the opening scene features a corpse in one of the semi-aquatic rodent’s dams.“We found out that there are only three working beavers in Hollywood,” said Reichs. “The one we booked for the show was elderly and uncooperative.”

  2. Art imitates life. “I’ve had a set of bones at my lab since 1989,” said Reichs. “They were found in a plastic sac, tossed onto a highway near the Quebec-New Brunswick border.” That event inspired her book Bones to Ashes, published in 2007.

  3. DNA evidence isn’t a silver bullet. “Crimes aren’t unpacked in 48 minutes,” said Reichs in reference to the broadcast length of Bones. “People tend to overestimate what we can accomplish with DNA.”

Reichs’s history with Concordia was among the topics discussed with emcee Caroline Van Vlaardingen, BA 84, a reporter with CTV News Montreal.

“I did a faculty exchange with a professor at Concordia. I wanted to learn French,” said Reichs, who works at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Was it a success? “Bien sûr!” Reichs said.

#CUalumni  #CUgiving   #TOL2016



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