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Bones’ producer Kathy Reichs hooks in viewers, readers on case-by-case basis

Courtesy of FOX

Physically, bones are essential for everyone. But for Kathy Reichs, bones are more than just a reference to anatomy. They were her inspiration for becoming an author and a producer of FOX’s TV series “Bones.”

Reichs has been working with bones for most of her life. As a forensic anthropologist, she helped identify remains at Ground Zero, World War II, and wars in Korea, Southeast Asia, Guatemala and Rwanda.

“Bones,” which centers on fictional character Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, who is played by Emily Deschanel, is loosely based on Reichs’ novels.

She wrote her first novel, “Déjà Dead,” when she was working as an anthropology professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The novel was inspired by one of her cases involving a Canadian serial killer, Serge Archambault, also known as the Butcher of St. Eustache.

Her most recent book, “Bones Are Forever,” released Aug. 28, is also based on personal experience, specifically children homicide cases.

“One involved an 11-month-old infant, one was 2 years old, and one was 10 years old, so the idea of the death of truly innocent victims, children, was on my mind,” Reichs said in an interview with The Lantern on Ohio State’s Center for Study and Teaching of Writing’s “Writers Talk.” “So, I’m trying to bring out some of the emotions that I feel when I’m having to work on those kinds of very, very innocent and venerable victims.”

She said based on the popularity of her books and TV series, she’s certain she’s doing something right with the way she channels her case works.

“The series ‘Bones’ will be started its eighth season, on Sept. 17, which is amazing. Most television shows don’t go eight seasons,” Reichs said. “The show is (shown) in 75 foreign territories, and my books are published in 35 different languages.”

Reichs’ work also has somewhat of a fanbase at OSU.

Melissa Douns, a third-year in speech and hearing science, said she enjoys the reality of “Bones.”

“I think (the show is) interesting. I enjoyed learning about anatomy and I like that after I learn something in classes, I actually can relate it to a TV show,” Douns said.

Xiaoxi Wang, a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering, said she’s familiar with the show as well.

“Some of my friends watch the show, but it’s not for me,” Wang said. She added it makes her “afraid of the world” because it’s based on real cases.

Reichs said the cases she works on can be alarming for her too, but with experience she’s found ways to deal with her emotions.

“I think the hardiest part is remaining objective and detached because you have to be a scientist,” Reichs said. “Try not to allow yourself to emotional involvement, otherwise you can’t do your job. That’s one of the hardest things.

“However, I think it is fascinating, and it is main source of my works,” she said. “Without case works, there is no book or ‘Bones.'”

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