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Forensic Anthropologist At Willamette

Doug Owsley is the real life Indiana Jones but Jeff Benedict is the lawyer and investigative journalist who captured the stories of America's oldest mummies, skeletons and precious relics in his book "No Bone Unturned: The Adventures of a Top Smithsonian Forensic Scientist and the Legal Battle for America's Oldest Skeletons.

Owsley and Benedict will be joined by Paula Barran, attorney in the Kennewick Man case, for a slide presentation and book signing April 17 at 12:40 p.m. at the Willamette University College of Law, Room 201. The event is free and open to the public.

When he's not analyzing pre-historic skeletons at the Smithsonian Institution, forensic anthropologist Owsley is enlisted by the State Department, the FBI, and other federal agencies to identify remains. He is an expert in the study of ancient skeletons and No Bone Unturned is his story, which focuses on the most stunning cases of his international career. Owsley has helped identify the remains of Bosnian war victims, American journalists murdered and burned in Guatemala, David Koresh's remains and the other Waco victims and Pentagon victims from 9/11.

No Bone Unturned also details Owsley's participation in landmark studies of 17th and 18th century U.S. colonies in Maryland and Jamestown. He has taken us further into the past by studying the ancient remains of the Spirit Cave mummy and the Kennewick man, which speak to the origins of humanity. His career veered onto an unusual path when an anthropologist in Kennewick, Wa., called him to help study the 10,000 year-old Caucasoid skeleton known as the Kennewick Man.

Owsley got caught up in a battle against the Justice Department and Indian tribes who claim the skeleton is Native American and should be buried and not analyzed. Owsley enlisted fellow scientists worldwide, filed suit against the government, and in 2002, a federal court issued a landmark decision declaring that the federal government violated laws when it tried to bar Owsley from studying Kennewick Man. The decision will impact repatriation laws and have a significant impact on the classic views of "native Americans," migration patterns, anthropology, as well as our understanding of pre-history.

Jeff Benedict is an investigative journalist, lawyer, lecturer and the author of "Public Heroes, Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL," and "Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World's Largest Casino." He has a law degree from New England School of Law, and a master's degree in political science from Northeastern University. He has been published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and is also a private consultant to law firms and business organizations.

04-08-2003