Bones Wouldn’t Exist Without This Real Life Forensic Anthropologist

Dr. Reichs is one of roughly 110 people in the world who is currently actively certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, per its website. Like Brennan, Dr. Reich seems to be an in-demand expert who’s made a name for herself with a globe-crossing career. In 2002, according to her website, she visited Guatemala to help exhume a mass grave full of victims of the Guatemalan Civil War. Viewers tuning into “Bones” for the first time will see Brennan coming back from a similar trip in the pilot episode, where she ends up waylaid at the airport by FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) when he requests her help for the first time. Reichs also testified at the U.N. Tribunal on Genocide in Rwanda, and has traveled everywhere from Illinois to Israel to do her work.

Like Dr. Brennan, Dr. Reichs has also helped ascertain the facts in major murder cases. According to a 2011 USA Today profile, the anthropologist’s first novel was inspired by her work with the remains of the victims of Quebec-based serial killer Serge Archambault. Dr. Reichs also did a full skeletal analysis in the case of the 2008 death of Caylee Anthony (although she didn’t end up testifying in the case), finding no forensic evidence of abuse nor any clear cause of death. Though forensic science has its limitations (biological data can’t always tell scientists about a person’s race or cultural background, their gender presentation, or their lived experiences), bones can still tell well-studied experts plenty about the life and death of a subject.

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