Kathy Reichs

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Kathleen Joan Toelle Reichs
BornJuly 1948 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.[1]
OccupationForensic Anthropologist
Professor [1]
GenreCrime, since 1997
Notable worksBreak No Bones (2006)[1]
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"Reichs" redirects here. For other uses, see Reich (disambiguation).
Kathleen Joan Toelle Reichs
BornJuly 1948 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.[1]
OccupationForensic Anthropologist
Professor [1]
GenreCrime, since 1997
Notable worksBreak No Bones (2006)[1]

Kathleen Joan Toelle "Kathy" Reichs (/ˈrks/;[2] born July 7, 1948[3]) is an American crime writer, forensic anthropologist and academic.[1] She is a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; as of 2013 she is on indefinite leave.[4] She divides her work time between the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec and her professorship at UNC Charlotte. She is one of the eighty-two forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology[5] and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Her schedule also involves a number of speaking engagements around the world. Reichs has been a producer for the TV series Bones, which is loosely based on her novels, which in turn, are inspired by her life.[1] She has two daughters, Kerry and Courtney, and one son, Brendan.[6]

Academic career[edit]

Reichs earned her Bachelors of Arts degree with a major in anthropology from American University in 1971. In 1972, she completed her Master of Arts in physical anthropology from Northwestern University, and in 1975 she completed her Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Northwestern University. Since then, Reichs has taught at Northern Illinois University, University of Pittsburgh, Concordia University, and McGill University, and is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In the past, Kathy Reichs has consulted for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina.[7]

Reichs has appeared in Tanzania to testify at the United Nations's International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.[8] She has assisted Dr. Clyde Snow and the Foundation for Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology in an exhumation in the area of Lake Atitlan in the highlands of southwest Guatemala. She was a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team assigned to assist at the World Trade Center disaster.

Academic papers[edit]

Academic books[edit]


In addition to technical books, Reichs has written 19 novels to date, which have been translated into 30 languages.[9] Her first novel, Déjà Dead, won the 1997 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.[10]

The fictional heroine in her novels, Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, is also a forensic anthropologist. Her lifestyle closely mimics that of her creator,[11][12] with Reichs stating that Brennan and she "have the same CV"[11] and that "Some of Tempe's personality traits are also mine",[12] but there are differences in their personal lives such as the character's alcoholism.[11] A good portion of the novels are based on real life science, and Reichs has stated that she is "fastidiously conscientious about getting the science right".[13] She has used experience from her career in her novels, and said about Déjà Dead that "Everything I describe in the book, I actually did".[12] In the novel Grave Secrets, she uses her experience from her visit to Guatemala.[13]

She has also written the young adult novels series named Virals centered on Tempe's great-niece, Tory Brennan, and a pack of her friends Ben, Hiram, Shelton, and wolfdog Cooper.

Temperance Brennan series[edit]

1Déjà Dead1997Paperback: 0-09-925518-9
Audio CD: 1-449-83348-9
Won the 1997 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
2Death du Jour1999Paperback: 0-09-925519-7
Hardcover: 0-684-84118-5
Audio CD: 0-754-05330-X
3Deadly Décisions2000Paperback: 0-09-930710-3
Hardback: 0-434-00820-6
4Fatal Voyage2001Paperback: 0-09-930720-0
Audio CD: 1-85686-927-X
5Grave Secrets2002Paperback: 0-09-930730-8
Audio CD: 1-85686-928-8
6Bare Bones2003Paperback: 0-09-944147-0
7Monday Mourning2004Paperback: 0-09-944148-9
8Cross Bones2005Paperback: 0-09-944149-7
Hardback: 0-434-01040-5
Audio CD: 1-85686-985-7
9Break No Bones2006Hardback: 0-434-01042-1
Paperback: 0-434-01544-X
10Bones to Ashes2007Hardback: 978-0434014620
Paperback: 978-1416525653
11Devil Bones2008Hardback: 978-0743294386
Paperback: 978-1-4391-5440-3
Audio CD: 978-1846571336
12206 Bones2009Hardback: 978-0743294393
Paperback: 978-0-4340-2005-8
13Spider Bones2010Hardback: 978-1439102398
Paperback: 978-0-0995-5686-2
released as Mortal Remains in UK and Australia in hardback,
reverted to Spider Bones for paperback release
14Flash and Bones2011978-1439102411
15Bones are Forever2012978-0434021130
16Bones of the Lost2013978-1439102459
17Bones Never Lie2014Hardback: 978-0345544018
Paperback: 978-0804194471

Virals series[edit]

Main article: Virals
TerminalDue March 2015


Reichs has released four downloadable short stories -

Shift2013Set in the Virals country, but featuring both the Virals characters and Temperance Brennan.
Bones In Her Pocket2013A Temperance Brennan story giving details of a case briefly mentioned in Bones of the Lost.
Swipe2013A Virals story, also featuring Temperance Brennan, set at Comic-Con in San Diego
Swamp Bones2014A Temperance Brennan story set in the Florida Everglades.


Main article: Bones (TV series)

The 2005 Fox television series Bones is inspired by Reichs' life and writing.[14] The series borrows the name of the books' heroine, Temperance "Bones" Brennan.[15] As in the books, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is a forensic anthropologist; however, there are many differences: the television character is younger, more socially awkward,[15] and is based in a fictionalized version of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.[15] Additionally, the TV-Brennan moonlights as an author,[14] writing about a fictional forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs.[16] Aside from the character name and occupation, there are few tie-ins between the TV show and the books.

Reichs works as a producer on the show to "keep the science honest"[15] and has appeared in the episode "Judas on a Pole" from the second season, in which she played Professor Constance Wright, a forensic anthropologist on the board conducting Zack Addy's dissertation defense.[17] Additionally, she wrote the Season Five episode "The Witch in the Wardrobe"[18] and the Season Nine episode "The Dude in the Dam" with her daughter Kerry.[19]

Casey Anthony murder trial[edit]

In 2011, Reichs was an expert witness in the Casey Anthony murder trial. After initially refusing to be a part of Anthony's defense, she cited biased media coverage as the reason she changed her mind. “Initially, I said no, and then I started seeing media coverage and it made me angry. This woman needed to be tried in court, not in the press.” Reichs did a full skeletal analysis of Anthony's daughter, Caylee, but could not determine a cause of death. She concluded that there was no evidence of abuse and that the child appeared to be well-nourished.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Reichs, Kathy", Britannica Online (see below: References).
  2. ^ See inogolo:pronunciation of Kathy Reichs: phonetic "Rikes".
  3. ^ Kathleen J. Reichs Biography
  4. ^ Department of Anthropology faculty at UNCC
  5. ^ http://www.theabfa.org/diplomates.html
  6. ^ Reichs, Kathy (2002). Grave Secrets: A Novel. Simon & Schuster, Inc. pp. XII. ISBN 978-0-671-02838-1. 
  7. ^ As described on her website biography
  8. ^ Smithsonian Magazine: Interview with Kathy Reichs
  9. ^ Kathy Reichs book suppliers. Personal website. Retrieved 1/11/09.
  10. ^ Arthur Ellis Award - list of past winners. Crime Writers of Canada website. Retrieved 1/11/09.
  11. ^ a b c "This much I know:Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist and writer, 60, London". Tom Templeton (The Guardian). 2008-10-26. 
  12. ^ a b c "Meet this season's best discovery: Kathy Reichs". Bookpage. September 1997. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  13. ^ a b "Kathy Reichs: The ice queen of crime". Peter Stanford (The Independent). 2006-07-21. 
  14. ^ a b Bones Show Info
  15. ^ a b c d "Kathy Reichs: 20 Things You Need to Know". Yahoo!7. Yahoo! Pty Limited. Archived from the original on 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  16. ^ "Bodies in the Book". Bones. Season 2. Episode 15. 2007-10-14.
  17. ^ IMDB profile for Bones episode Judas on a Pole
  18. ^ IMDB full credits for Bones episode "The Witch in the Wardrobe"
  19. ^ BONES Recap: ‘The Dude in the Dam’
  20. ^ Reichs Examines Murder Victim Caylee Anthony


External links[edit]