Kathy Reichs — a forensic anthropologist, bestselling novelist and a producer of the hit TV show “Bones” — addressed the NSU community on Feb. 6 as part of the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Speaker Series.
Approximately 450 community members, students, staff and faculty packed the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center for her speech.
Reichs’ main goal of the night was to address Farquhar College’s 2012-2013 academic theme, “Life and Death.”
She explained how her career deals with death; as a forensic scientist, she identities deceased bodies. However, she also deals with life; as a fiction author, she brings life to the cases she solves.
Reichs described some basic forensic science strategies and discussed her thought process behind her 21 books, all of which she based on her past cases. She then used a powerpoint presentation full of photos to show the audience what bullet shots, blunt force trauma and knife damage looks like when inflicted on human bones.
Later, she related each of her books to a past case she solved — some of which have taken her across the globe, to South America, Canada and Europe.
Katrina Fins, a freshman biology major who read one of Reich’s novels in an honors reading seminar said, “I find it so amazing how she has taken her career and really made something adventurous and fun out of it.”
Reichs also discussed “crimedy” — a term critics have coined to describe her comedic crime novels, as well as “Bones,” a Fox series that is loosely based on her life, career and writings.
Toward the end of her lecture, Reichs gave the audience a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating “Bones,” which is currently airing its eighth season.
Reichs pretended to write a forensics story that revolves around a murder at NSU, with the main suspects being students, teachers and President George Hanbury II. Along the way, she used pictures of students and the NSU campus to illustrate in detail how she would develop an intriguing story.
Reiches kept the lecture alive with jokes and humorous stories from her journeys and crime-solving experiences. Afterward, audience members asked questions in an open forum setting and Reichs signed copies of her books.
The next guest in the Distinguished Speak Series will be playwright Edward Albee on April 4.