Texas State Forensic Anthropologists are helping to solve four cold cases on the television show “The Decrypters”, airing on the National Geographic Channel beginning March 29th. Dr. Michelle Hamilton and Dr. Kate Spradley will be studying the skeletons of people who died in the United States 150-250 years ago to tie them to events in American history, the San Marcos Record reports.
The first episode will focus on a male skeleton from the mid-1700’s who was exhumed from Fort William Henry’s British military cemetery in upstate New York. The fort was the site of the massacre chronicled in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel “The Last of the Mohicans”. The doctors will determine whether he is a British soldier, which seems unlikely in preliminary analysis, or a Native American, and if he is a Native American, why was he working for the British.
Later episodes will analyze remains of a man and a woman buried in the same coffin in Cincinnati in the time of cholera, a male skeleton from Sacramento during the gold rush, and a man who died in Denver, Colorado in the 1870’s. Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Spradley were filmed last year in the Grady Early Forensic Lab at Texas State as they looked for clues to the true nature of each of the skeletons. Texas State is home to the largest forensic and anthropology research lab in the United States and proceeds from the show will go towards scholarships for incoming graduate students in Forensic Anthropology.
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